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Orcasphere » Sustainability
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Sustainability Archive

Scientists seek to silence sonar in the Salish Sea


The following open letter was sent today to Governmental and Naval leaders on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border.  As of 3/11/2012 it has been signed by 20 biologists and bioacousticians who have studied the killer whales of the Salish Sea.  (When sent initially, 16 had signed). To: The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National [...]

$1-10k fines for proximity to orcas


It’s nice to see WDFW making public (see below) the consequences of violating the State and Federal laws governing how vessels may interact with killer whales.  I’ve added these details to the Beam Reach wiki page regarding orca-boat rules. WDFW NEWS RELEASE Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091 [...]

Shall orca fans boycott CA tomatoes?


This well-written story about the CA salmon fishery in the High Country News connects the fate of southern residents with the agricultural industry of the Central Valley. The past five years have already been harrowing, with a round of fishing bans to protect declining salmon runs in the Klamath River near the California-Oregon border. While [...]

BP threatens Northwest’s orcas


This morning, John Burbank scribed a disconcerting account of oil politics in the southern residents’ backyard.  The following paragraphs provide a glimpse into how the complex interactions of the petroleum industry and our State political system increase risks for killer whales in the Northwest. BP also has its own salaried lobbyist dedicated to keeping watch [...]

Orcas and salmon in new Cascadia Scorecard


The Sightline Institute has just released a new Cascadia Scorecard that attempts to track progress towards sustainability in Cascadia, the ecoregion encompassing much of western Washington and southern British Columbia. Southern resident killer whales and chinook salmon are featured within the scorecard’s wildlife indicator along with wolves, sage grouse, and caribou. While the wolf population [...]

Stormwater, salmon, and the health of Puget Sound


Keynote speaker at Sound Waters 2010 Dr. Nathaniel ‘Nat’ Scholtz, NOAA/NWFSC Coho salmon are our first choice for a ‘sentinel species’ because they: are widely distributed inhabit lowland steams that are important and familiar to humans and areas impacted directly by stormwater runoff (if we can reduce toxics in lowland streams, then we’ll likely keep [...]

Orca refuge: a gift for endangered killer whales


This Friday, January 15, 2010, is the deadline for public comment on the proposed orca conservation area along the west side of San Juan Island. All marine conservationists should consider commenting on these precedent-setting rules: comment via email | comment via web form.  (Official background and the PDF of proposed rule are on the NOAA [...]

Researchers call for orca conservation zone in B.C.


Dec 23 Vancouver Sun article about a forth-coming science paper that proposes a conservation zone that overlaps with the proposed orca sanctuary boundaries: Wildlife researchers have identified the key feeding area for a critically endangered population of killer whales near Vancouver Island and proposed the creation of a unique, miniature conservation zone for the few [...]

Salmon court fallacy: we must spill or spew


There are some great observations and quotes in the liveblog of Matthey Preusch during the Nov 23, 2009, Salmon Court. This first one suggests a slight of hand or an ignorance of the primary findings of the Bright Future report — that we do not necessarily have to choose between spilling water for salmon in [...]

The dawning era of dam breaching


This story makes it clear to me that Oregon is WAY ahead of Washington on dam removal.  Whether it’s breaching of small dams like Savage Rapids or open discussion of lower Snake River Dam removal, Oregon is setting an inspirational pace in the 21st century. All this is coming from a region/State where the spotted [...]