Puget Sound’s Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) are critically endangered. Puget Sound Conservation Districts work every day to make conditions better for local orcas and are now presenting a region wide event to give everyone the opportunity to join in this work. Join your local Conservation District on Saturday November 10, 2018 and help recover this iconic species.
Actions Each of Us Can Take Everyday
The single biggest threat to our local orca whales is that their primary food source, Chinook Salmon, are also endangered. 80% of the SRKW diet is salmon, and because of loss of habitat and increasing pollution, local salmon populations are a fraction of what they used to be. So what can you do?
Support funding for salmon habitat restoration – Conservation Districts and our partners work every day to implement solutions, but region wide the budget shortfall for Puget Sound recovery work is over $1 Billion each year. Contact Governor Inslee and state legislators to support fully funding Conservation Districts and several key funding programs: Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Fund, Salmon Recovery Funding Board, Floodplains by Design, Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program, Brain Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, Aquatic Land Enhancement Account
Reduce Pollution – Over 14 million tons of pollution ends up in Puget Sound every year, most of which is because of all the rain we get. Rain isn’t the culprit though, we are, and all the stuff we leave behind that the rain carries into our streams and on into the Sound. One way to think of it is for every 1,000 square feet (roughly the size of your driveway), 24,000 gallons of stormwater ends up in the Sound. There are many ways to reduce pollution, but one way is through Depave Puget Sound: reduce paved spaces, add some greenery back into our lives and improve conditions for salmon and orcas. Win-win-win.
Get Involved in local restoration work – Organizations across the region, from Conservation Districts, to Salmon Recovery Lead Entities, to Salmon Enhancement Groups, and state agencies are working everyday to restore salmon habitat, and they all could use the help of volunteers like you.
Small Actions Can Make a Big Difference – Washing your car in your driveway, not picking up after your pets, or putting fertilizer on your lawn might not feel like that big of deal. Multiply your daily actions by the 4 million people that live in Puget Sound though and the impact is profound. It’s our collective impact that have led to this crises, but it’s also our collective impact that will fix it.
Install A Rain Garden – We get roughly 40″ of rain every year in the Puget Sound region, and we love it right? All that rain hits our roofs, yards, and driveways and runs off into the streets picking up everything along the way and end up in local streams and ultimately Puget Sound, unfiltered. A Rain Garden can help capture some of that runoff, collect it, and infiltrate it back into the ground before it has a chance to carry pollution to our local waterways.
Own Waterfront Property? Make it Shore Friendly – We’re working to start our own Shore Friendly program, but Mason Conservation District and Kitsap County both have one and you can reach out them for more info. King Conservation District also has an incentive program. Why do shorelines matter to Orcas? Salmon are also a food source for seals and sea lions, but if we restore our shorelines, there will be more forage fish such as sand lance and smelt, giving the seals and sea lions more food and therefore more salmon for the Orcas. Puget Sound has 7,500 miles of shoreline, 2,500 of which has been degraded by development.
Use Natural Yard Care Practices – Everybody likes having a green lush lawn. Often what that means though is adding a bunch of fertilizers, pesticides and other harmful chemicals to our lawn. Again, because of all our rain, all those chemicals eventually end up in Puget Sound. Natural Yard Care is easy, just ask Kasey Keller.
Some other small things:
- Use Water Wisely
- Safely Dispose of medicine