Submitted by Center for Whale Research and DamSense.org
Representatives from the Center for Whale Research and DamSense.org prepared an ad campaign due to begin running in the Jan. 7 Seattle Times Sunday edition. The groups are informing the elected officials of the crisis situation surrounding the critically endangered Southern resident killer whale. More than 50 percent of this species’ diet comes from salmon produced in the Columbia Basin, half of which are produced in the Snake River system. These beloved orcas are starving and malnourished because their primary prey, Chinook, are endangered. The solution is in plain sight. The facts are not being discussed.
For more than 40 years, the dams in the Snake River have been destroying salmon runs that are a critical food source for the Southern resident killer whales. The conservation groups are concerned that elected officials do not possess the vital information they need in order to take immediate action to recover endangered species in the state of Washington.
Furthermore, the federal agencies legally entrusted to recover endangered salmon in the Columbia Basins are not fulfilling their statutory responsibilities and are playing games with the courts directing them to do otherwise. Breaching the four lower Snake River dams can move forward immediately utilizing the 2002 Lower Snake River Environmental Impact Statement. This can be accomplished now, rather than having to perform yet another EIS study and without the need for congressional authority or new appropriations.
The more than 22,000 signees of the petition, found atw tinyurl.com/srkwpetition, hope that the advertisement will generate more urgency and honesty amongst our elected officials. Petitioners request that more of the public will join in with tens of thousands of others who have contacted offices of Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Patty Murray. The character of the Pacific Northwest is at stake in this issue.