Mourn for the SRKWs Aug. 26 – Then Take Action Aug. 28

It’s impossible to imagine the San Juan Islands without the amazing Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW). But that reality could be just years away if we don’t act swiftly – they’re among the most endangered animals on the planet. A lack of Chinook salmon is pushing the SRKWs towards extinction. So is pollution and underwater noise.


After watching Tahlequah, the SRKW hold her dead calf above water for 17 painful days, she rejoined her pod. It’s a sign of hope for her survival. Join others on your island on Sunday, August 26 to mourn her loss and send her your prayers and your intentions to improve ocean conditions for her.

Attend a Vigil for the Whales and a Wake for Tahlequah’s calf on Sunday Aug., 26 at 11 am:

Otis Perkins County Park on Lopez,

Eastsound Waterfront Park,

Lime Kiln State Park Lighthouse on San Juan, and

Shaw County Park

If you can’t attend, silently observe for 17 minutes wherever you are.


Attend the Governor’s SRKW Recovery and Task Force Meeting in Anacortes on Tuesday, August 28. We’re providing a FREE shuttle to Swinomish Casino and Resort (by the La Conner Bridge). Take your San Juan Islands ferry to Anacortes terminal, then depart at 9:20 am from the bus stop where the Airporter Shuttle leaves from. We’ll leave the meeting by 3 p.m. so people can return on the 3:45 and 4:45 ferries. Click here to register for the shuttle, call 360-378-2319 or email [email protected]. Please register by Friday, August 24.

If you can’t attend, click here to send your comments to the Governor’s SRKW Recovery and Task Force.

More Details:

Your comments will inform the SRKW Task Force’s draft report and recommendations for recovering Southern Residents, which will be out for review Oct. 1. During October, Friends will hold Community Conversations about the Plan (save the date: Orcas – Oct. 11, Lopez – Oct. 12 and San Juan – Oct. 15).

Suggested Talking Points:

  • Strengthen and enforce regulations and provide resources for effective regulatory and voluntary protections of our shorelines. Healthy shorelines, eelgrass, and spawning beaches are needed for Chinook salmon and the forage fish they depend on.
  • Place a moratorium on new bulkheads and docks in known forage fish spawning areas and high value Chinook salmon rearing areas. Bulkheads and docks negatively impact the spawning habitats of forage fish and juvenile salmon rearing and feeding habitats.
  • Enact legislation that revokes the business license of any contractor who builds on the shoreline without a permit. Shoreline property owners are often not deterred from illegal shoreline construction by fines at any price. The only way to stop illegal shoreline construction is through contractors.
  • Create scientifically based SRKW protection areas/no-go zones.
  • Give SRKWs their fair share of the salmon – follow Canada’s lead and take immediate action to increase prey availability and conserve Chinook salmon.
  • Prevent oil spills in SRKW critical habitat – e.g., require an Emergency Response Towing Vessel near Haro Strait, Boundary Pass, and southern Georgia Strait.
  • Remove unnecessary dams that block Chinook salmon passage.
  • Support the recommendations from the Vessels Working Group – e.g., require permits for whale watching, support commercial vessel noise reductions, and address SRKW impacts from the Trans Mountain Pipeline and Puget Sound Pipeline expansions.

The SRKWs are in trouble and we must implore the Task Force to recommend bold actions to protect and restore them and the health of the entire Salish Sea Ecosystem.

Click here to learn more about how you can help from our SRKW Action Center.

It means so much to me to have helped protect the rural environment and natural beauty of the San Juan Islands during the 1980s and 90s. Now I get to share my appreciation of these beautiful islands with my grandchildren, too.

Nancy DeVaux

former Executive Director and member, San Juan Island