Even after the birth of two new calves, only 74 Southern Resident orcas remain. The amazing whale we call J35 Tahlequah, whose grief was felt around the world in 2018 when she carried her dead calf on her rostrum for 17 days and 1000 miles, gave birth to a robust male calf in September 2020. Several weeks later, J41 Eclipse gave birth to another bouncy calf. These new births give the critically endangered Southern Residents a glimmer of hope that their clan may yet survive.
But plentiful chinook salmon is the key to the Southern Resident orcas’ continued existence, and right now, salmon are anything but abundant. Breaching the four lower Snake River dams is the single best opportunity to increase chinook availability, since historically, the undammed Snake River produced huge salmon runs.
After nearly 900,000 people from around the world have signed the petition to breach the four lower Snake River dams to save salmon and Southern Resident Orcas, the politicians still say they need to see more public support for dam breaching. Somehow, they’re not getting the message!
Let’s tell them directly that the people want lower Snake River dam breaching by also flooding their offices with messages and phone calls! Please use these message links and phone numbers to reach out to those in power who can make a difference if they choose. So far, they’re not convinced.
We must continue to educate these decision makers that people around the world support immediate Snake River dam breaching to save the Southern Resident orcas.
Care about orcas? Here are a few “must reads”:
- Letter from fifty-five scientists to Northwest policymakers October 2019: Introduction, Key Findings and Details substantiating how federal dams and climate impacts are increasing water temperatures in the lower Snake River and harming salmon survival and recovery.
- ECONorthwest Lower Snake River Dams Economic Tradeoffs of Removal, Prepared for Vulcan Inc. July 2019: Executive Summary, Full Report
- Washington Post September 2018: ‘What Extinction Looks Like’
- The New York Times August 2018: The Orca, Her Dead Calf, and Us