If you look carefully at the group gathered there on the shores of the Puget Sound, you might catch a glimpse of our very own David Neiwert, who has been writing on and advocating for the plight of the endangered Southern Resident orca pods.
This week, the news took a heartbreaking turn when it was announced that the calf J-46, dubbed Star, and her mother, J-28, also known as Polaris, are presumed dead from starvation.
What happened to make J28, once a healthy young female, diagnosed as too weak to fight off her illness? What explains the mysterious decline of the Southern Resident orcas?
Dr. Balcomb points to two factors: Human-introduced contaminants to the Puget Sound and the diminished supply of orcas' preferred food, Chinook salmon.
Before she disappeared, J28 was visibly malnourished, as was her calf. Because orcas are pod animals, J28’s sister and older daughter attempted to help out by catching fish and supporting their floundering relatives.
But in the end, it just wasn’t enough.
There's something you can do. Please contact the politicians who could make a difference in this: Jay Inslee, Patty Murray, and Maria Cantwell, as well as President Obama, and demand the removal of the Snake River dams as the first step to restoring their salmon -- and to take these orcas' plight seriously.
Call President Obama at (202) 456-1111
Call Washington State Governor Jay Inslee at (360) 902-4111
Call Senator Patty Murray (202) 224-2621
Call Senator Maria Cantwell (202) 224-3441