Take Action! Use Your Orca Voice!

Dear Safe Shippers, 
The orcas need us to speak for them. 
See how you can do so by reading this Action Alert from Friends of the San Juans:
Dear Safe Shippers,
Did you know that 4 of Washington State’s 5 refineries are located in the federally endangered Southern Resident orcas habitat in the Salish Sea? 
Marine terminal projects associated with these refineries increase vessel traffic. Impacts from marine vessels to the Southern Residents include ship strikes, hearing loss, emissions, ability to communicate and successfully hunt for scarce prey, and oil spills. We’ve been working hard on two expanding refineries to make sure these projects do not negatively impact our environment and or our economy. First some good news, then 3 other ways you can help us hold the line for the Southern Resident orcas…
Good News! This month a Thurston County Superior Court judge agreed that the public (and impacts to orca) get their day in court! Friends, along with our partners – Evergreen IslandsStand.earthRE Sources for Sustainable CommunitiesFriends of the Earth, and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance – argued that the state Shorelines Hearings Board must consider whether the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for an expansion project at Marathon Refinery in Anacortes (for manufacturing and exporting xylene) adequately addresses: vessel traffic impacts to the Salish Sea; impacts to the critically endangered Southern Resident orcas; and increases in pollution that cause climate change. Click here for the full press release.

Help us hold the line to protect our waters! Here are some ways you can help today:
1. Show your support and join us on November 1st as we stand up for the Southern Resident orcas and communities in regard to the Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery’s Expansion (Whatcom County Council Chambers in Bellingham, 311 Grand Ave., 1 – 5 p.m.).
Friends of the San Juans will argue in Whatcom County that the Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery needs to evaluate impacts of increased vessel traffic on Southern Resident orcas. This expanded facility would store 15,960,000 gallons of oil-roughly 4,960,000 more gallons than what spilled into Alaska’s Prince William Sound during the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill. 
Friends is asking the refinery to quantify all project-related vessel traffic and evaluate the project-related vessel traffic’s potential adverse impacts, including oil spill risk, to the critically endangered Southern Resident orcas, their designated critical habitat, the Salish Sea ecosystem, and neighboring communities. We also seek independent monitoring of vessel traffic. 
2. Comment on the latest recommendations from the Orca Recovery Task Force by 5:00 p.m. on October 25
The Governor’s Orca Recovery Task Force recently adopted 13 new recommendations and highlighted parts of the initial 36 recommendations identified in 2018 that need much more work to implement. All of these actions are needed to address the three threats the Southern Resident orcas face – lack of food, too much pollution, and too much noise and disturbance.
Make sure these actions are implemented and not forgotten. Urge the Governor to extend his commitment and resolve for orca recovery by ensuring that visibility and momentum continue for allocating fish for orca, increased protections from vessels, and promoting increased prey, quieter seas and cleaner waters in the years to come. Click here to see the comments from Friends of the San Juans that will help you craft your own.
3. Comment on Cooke Aquaculture’s problematic proposal to farm biologically-engineered steelhead in the net pens they previously used to farm Atlantic salmon.
The deadline was extended to Nov. 1 thanks to your comments to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Click here to see the original action alert that includes a link to our comment letter and how to submit comments. 
Thank you for your voice and support!
Katie Fleming
Community Engagement Director