Here is an Orca Action Alert from our fellow Safe Shippers and Orca Protectors at Friends of the San Juans.
Two opportunities to speak up for the protection and recovery of the Southern Resident Killer Whales:
1. Washington State Ferries Long Range Plan Commenting Opportunity
The Washington State Ferries (WSF) draft 2040 long range plan recommends that WSF invest in replacing aging vessels with new, quieter, plug-in hybrid-capable, ferries. This is a win-win for ferry-dependent communities and the orca. Because ferries represent over 70% of commercial vessel traffic managed by the USCG’s Vessel Traffic Service, reducing ferry noise will have a significant benefit to our Southern Resident orca who are impacted by vessel noise. The plug-in hybrid-capable ferries and the transition to a zero-emission ferry fleet would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change impacts. Expediting the plan to build quieter, hybrid-capable ferries will further benefit ferry riders, orca, and our climate.
Comment deadline is Thursday, October 25
Here are some suggested comments:
Our aging fleet is unreliable, and any loss of service impacts all ferry riders and especially ferry-dependent communities. Vessel noise from ferries impacts the critically endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. Greenhouse gas emissions from ferries contributes to climate change.
I support the draft long range plan’s recommendation that WSF replace aging vessels and add relief vessels beyond those currently available (for maintenance and repairs without disrupting ferry service). Construction of new, quieter, plug-in hybrid-capable, ferries needs to be expedited for ferry-dependent communities, the protection and recovery of Southern Resident Killer Whales, and our climate.
2. SRKW Recovery and Task Force Commenting Opportunity
The Governor’s Southern Resident Killer Recovery and Task Force will be updating their draft recommendations on October 24 and the public will have until October 29 to submit comments. Friends will be preparing some helpful suggested comments on the revised draft recommendations which will be forwarded to Safe Shippers later this week.
To learn more about the comment opportunity and how your comments can be most beneficial to the orca:
Commenting Workshop — Thursday, October 25
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Friends of the San Juans office
650 Mullis Street, Suite 201, Friday Harbor