Inslee statement on receipt of Orca Task Force Recommendations

"Today my office received the full list of recommendations made by the Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery Task Force. I thank all members of the Task Force for their comprehensive and diligent work over the past several months.

"The resulting process brought together diverse voices from a variety of perspectives, yet all had the same goal – to protect and recover these iconic and endangered creatures. These recommendations include the weight of extensive public engagement and feedback. We heard from thousands of people from all over the state, region and the world who are very passionate about saving these animals.

"I will review these recommendations over the coming weeks, and my staff and I will assess each one for the most impact in the short and long-term. I will roll out my budget and policy priorities in mid-December for consideration during the 2019 Legislative Session.

 "I thank co-chairs Stephanie Solien and Les Purce, and each and every member of the Task Force for their efforts. Their work will have an impact on generations of Southern Resident Killer Whales and on all Washingtonians."

1 comment

  • Jean Behnke Monday, 19 November 2018 14:08 Comment Link

    Governor Inslee's Orca Task Force did the work they were asked to do for the Orca and for us and restored confidence in their ability to see past those lobbying for their self-interests and profit.

    from the Governor's letter:
    "The task force focused on developing a package of recommendations that, if implemented, would collectively have the impact needed to achieve the vision of a thriving and resilient Southern Resident orca population."

    The recommendations support four goals:
     Goal 1: Increase Chinook abundance.
     Goal 2: Decrease disturbance of and risk to Southern Resident orcas from vessels and noise,
    and increase their access to prey.
     Goal 3: Reduce the exposure of Southern Resident orcas and their prey to contaminants.
     Goal 4: Ensure that funding, information and accountability mechanisms are in place to
    support effective implementation.

    So after many months of complex and exhaustive work, the diversified Task Force delivered these final recommendations, a package which "represents a consensus of and is supported by an overwhelming majority of the task force, with minority opinions provided where differences exist on specific actions."

    I am grateful for their hard work and commitment to preserve our Resident Orca and the health of the Salish Sea. The world is watching to see compassionate and bold decisions- the future of these whales and our marine neighborhood is NOT in the hands of aggressive and opportunistic businesses like whale watching. The future of our beloved SRKW and the fragile Salish Sea is now in the hands of those who spend their time PROTECTING our common environment and not EXPLOITING it for unfettered profit.

    This is likely our last opportunity to turn the SRKW decline around and with that a chance to take care of ourselves along with them. We can all be a part of a lasting solution and work to quiet the seas, clean up deadly toxins and help the Orca get food. While we work together, it may be hard for the whale "watching" community to truly recognize the reality but the SRKW are actually NOT a commodity. The final recommendations from Governor Inslee's Task Force now in consideration for laws of the land might help them realize that reality.

    There are many people living in the San Juan Islands who are are sick of witnessing the disturbance, exploitation and bullying by those profiting (ridiculously) from what belongs to all of us.
    BREAKING NEWS...the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea are no longer for sale to those coming here to cash in and monopolize a spotlighted endangered species for "education", endless data seeking or guaranteed thrill. Time to take back the Salish Sea.

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