Over the past few weeks, in sweeping votes from both chambers, the Washington State Legislature took major steps to address the emergency facing Southern Resident orcas and the systemic problems of salmon and Puget Sound recovery. Four bills that will protect orcas passed out of the House or Senate, and most with bipartisan support!
Each bill would implement important recommendations from Governor Inslee’s Orca Recovery Task Force. Together, these bills will increase food for orcas, give orcas room to eat, reduce the risk of oil spills, and prevent toxic pollution.
- HB 1579 supports chinook salmon and forage fish populations by protecting and restoring habitat.
- HB 1580 and SB 5577 reduce noise and disturbance around vessels, and passed both chambers with overwhelming bipartisan support.
- SSB 5135 reduces sources of toxic chemicals at their source to decrease
- SHB 1578 improves oil transportation safetyin the waters around the San Juan Islands.
Each bill now heads to the opposite chamber for votes. Please let your legislators know that these protections must make it out of the legislature and to Governor Inslee’s desk!
Thanks to your efforts and actions this session, the orcas are one step closer to necessary protections. These bills are key to recovering orcas for future generations.