The Story of Rhapsody, J32

A remarkable life and early death

securedownload-44.jpgBy Cindy Hansen

J32 was born during the winter of 1996 into the Southern Resident Community of orcas, which consists of J, K, and L Pods. She joined a very close-knit family including her mother J20 (Ewok), grandmother J10 (Tahoma), uncle J18 (Everett), and aunt J22 (Oreo). She was named ‘Rhapsody’ in a naming contest through The Whale Museum’s Orca Adoption Program. Some definitions of the word rhapsody include “an expression of ecstatic enthusiasm,” “rapturous delight or ecstasy,” and “a composition free in structure and highly emotional in character.” Over the years, Rhapsody continuously lived up to her name and was a delight to all who knew her. She was an exuberant young whale and was often given the nickname ‘the breacher’ due to her apparent joy in repeatedly jumping from the water.  Read more…

Top 10 Reasons the Lower Snake River Dams will be Breached

The issue isn’t whether we can afford to breach the four Lower Snake River dams, but whether we can afford not to breach them. ~ Linwood Laughy

1. The Corps’ $600 Million System Improvement Efforts on the Lower Snake River Have Failed.

Dams kill fish, millions of fish. In 2002 the Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla District convinced the public that the most acceptable alternative for saving Snake River threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead and recapturing the many benefits of recovered fish runs was to modify fish passage over and through the dams with System Improvements. Since then, the Corps has spent approximately $600 million—on just the four lower Snake dams—attempting to improve fish passage, and the Corps intends to spend more.  Read more…

Jim Waddell Interview

An informative interview with retired Army Corp Engineer Jim Waddell on WHY the SNAKE RIVER DAMS need to be BREACHED NOW. Thank you Whitney Neugebauer for this amazing interview.  Listen to the interview…

Lower Snake River Dams: Hydropower Replacement Costs

Click here to read the: 2015 Lower Snake River Dams: Hydropower Replacement Costs  (pdf)

Keep Vs. Breach: A Reevaluation of the Lower Snake River Feasibility Report

Please click here to view the report/graph (pdf)

Action Posters

Click a link below to download a high quality pdf:

• Call Obama Today Poster (pdf)

Breach Poster (pdf)

Southern Resident Orca / LSR Dams Fact Sheet (pdf)


Science Facts

The Southern Resident Killer Whales are spiraling toward extinction

“Restoring Columbia River Chinook salmon is perhaps the single most important thing we can do to ensure the future survival of the Southern Resident Community of killer whales.  We cannot hope to restore the killer whale population without also restoring the salmon upon which these whales have depended for thousands of years.  Their futures are intricately linked.” — Dr. Rich Osborne, research associate with The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, Washington (2015).

Compiled by Sharon Grace


• The Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) are critically endangered.

• After nearly a decade on the endangered species list, these killer whales are not recovering.  There were 88 whales when listed in 2005; today there are just 80.

Click here to read more facts…

Economic Value

Endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales Add Minimum of $65-$70 Million to Washington State’s Economy—They Would Be Missed

Compiled by Sharon Grace


• Wildlife watchers spend nearly $1 billion annually in Washington, primarily in rural areas.

• In 2001, 47% of Washington’s residents participated in wildlife watching, compared to 16% percent in fishing and 5% in hunting.

Click here to read more facts…

SRKW Core Habitat

“The  fundamental  questions  that  now  need  to  be  asked:   Who  is  responsible  for  ensuring  these whales  have  enough  Chinook  salmon  in  their  “core  summer  habitat”,  also  known  as  their  “Critical Habitat”?   What  steps  need  to  be  taken  to  ensure  that  a  lack  of  Chinook  salmon  does  not  drive  these whales  elsewhere  to  find  the  food  they  need  to  survive?”

Retired engineer Jane Cogan examines the Southern Resident Killer Whales summer core habitat.  Please click the link below to read her report: Southern Resident Killer Whale project.

Southern Resident Killer Whale Project (pdf)

Letters to Politicians

Supporters of Southern Resident Killer Whales—we are asking you to take action to keep the whales from being dammed to extinction. We need to convince President Obama and our Washington State Representatives to support breaching the four lower Snake River dams, to give the Southern Residents a fighting chance at surviving and recovering. Hand crafted letters (handwritten or typed) sent by U.S.P.S. are particularly effective in persuading politicians to take a stance. Below the addresses are some talking points. Make the letters your own and be respectful and succinct. Thank you!

Click here to link to politician addresses and facts to include in your letters …