A Community Website by Lopez Island
Tahlequah (Environment and Preservation)
Lopez Island
August 14, 2018
Posted by Horse Drawn Farm, Lopez Island

For the past two weeks I have been awestruck as Tahlequah carried her still born baby for over 1000 miles and 17 days. My emotions ran from a deep sadness for the plight of these whales to anger at our exploitative society and our destructive ways. We march forward to the tune of an economic drum that pays no heed to anything in its path. A dollar earned today regardless of the cost for tomorrow.

Tahlequah knows nothing of money, but she knows that her pod is in danger of extinction and that the Salish Sea and the dynamic web of life it supports is collapsing. She knows that her pod is growing sick from the toxins that we continue to pour daily into our environment. She knows that Chinook salmon, her pod's main food source, is getting scarcer each year. She knows that her pod gets no rest from the constant noise and harassment by whale watchers. She knows that her calf’s fate is not just hers and her pod’s, but all of the Salish Sea’s. Tired, hungry and full of sorrow she started her tour of grief only to stop as her calf began to decompose.

Tahlequah has spoken. WILL WE LISTEN?

We must act now. The time has come for San Juan County to declare the west side of San Juan Island, from Mitchell Bay to Cattle Point and extending ¾ of a mile from shore, as a Whale Protection Zone. This is an extension the ¼ mile voluntary “No Go Zone” established by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife which does not provide adequate protection. The area is Tahlequah’s main feeding grounds and it is time that we set it aside as refuge for her and the rest of the Southern Resident Orca. Like most of us they need a place away from all the noise. A place to feed unharassed. This is just one small step in securing Tahlequah and her pod’s survival.

From the Jet Ski ban to GMO-Free, San Juan County is a leader. Now is not the time to wait for others, but the time to act. I encourage you to contact our county commissioners and let them know that you support the immediate creation of a Whale Protection Zone on the west side of San Juan Island.

Do we want to be the generation that sat idly by as the Southern Resident Pod of Orcas became extinct?

Bill Watson: billw@sanjuanco.com
Rick Hughes: Rickh@sanjuanco.com
Jamie Stephens: jamies@sanjuanco.com


Comment

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Disagree
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Dan Post: Tahlequah

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There is more of a sewage problem than just Victoria. From the Fraser River area Canada is spilling 300 million gallons a day of sewage. And that flows down on us. Bad for Orca, bad for fish, bad for us.
Larry Bailey: Tahlequah

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I think you nailed it Dan.
Victoria's refusal to treat its waste and dump raw sewage into the water is reprehensible.
They say they don't have the money to correct this and that the currents move its waste out to the Pacific.
I think.... Read all
The Webmaster: Tahlequah

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The posting which was deleted was done so because the individual who posted it requested that it be removed because she herself found that the words she appended to the external link were objectionable and because she correctly realized that postings that.... Read all
Mike Colyar: Tahlequah

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True, they are at the top of the food chain and will bio-accumulate. Hmm. So are we. Guess I'll pass on eating fish.

Wouldn't a nice oil spill from one of those extra Canadian tankers projected to start rolling though here do great.... Read all
Dan Post: Tahlequah

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Mike, the Sockeye salmon run just a few weeks ago was over 14 million fish. Right now we have Chinook, Coho, and Chum salmon runs going through our waters so there are salmon.
Our Orca have been tested and have toxins. Our salmon have been tested.... Read all
Mike Colyar: Tahlequah

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Dan it is true that the water quality is not that great out there. But this has been an ongoing issue for generations. I can well remember being told by the organizers of the Swiftshure sailing race that we were not advised to do man overboard.... Read all
Dan Post: Tahlequah

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In my opinion (everyone has one) the more pressing problem for the Orca is water quality. The Orca feed off the South end of San Juan Island in a location that is called The Salmon Banks. Only a few miles away the city of Victoria is dumping 60 million.... Read all
Mike Colyar: Tahlequah

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I don't buy it that kayaks have any effect on the whales. If that were the case the whales would be kept from feeding by every log that drifted into their feeding areas.

The issue is noise. As far as a buy back program, we didn't do any.... Read all
Dan Post: Tahlequah

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I see that a posting has been removed from this thread. It is completely gone without a trace. When I saw it I did not think that it was objectionable, just a different view. It linked to a youtube that showed when in a boat what not to do. It showed a.... Read all
Paul Henriksen: Tahlequah

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Ditto!
Brenda Asterino: Tahlequah

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I agree to protect the whales. They are like the wolves and other animals at the top of their tangent of the food chain. Besides being beautiful, intelligent creatures, they are like us. As the whales and wolves go, so goes the human species. Problem.... Read all
Iris Graville: Tahlequah

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Thank you, Ken and Kathryn, for your thoughtful post and call to action. And thanks to Aurore for the link to the petition (created by Lopez resident, Sorrel North). I join you all in this effort to protect the whales and the Salish Sea.
John Waugh: Tahlequah

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Petition signed!
Ruth Perkins: Tahlequah

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...or maybe we could eliminate all vessels until a healthy population increase and then take baby steps to cautiously allow non-motorized vessels, one at a time, one season at a time, since "the science says that ANY vessels change their.... Read all
Ruth Perkins: Tahlequah

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Aurore
Thank you for including this link and for the lovely, to the point, words that followed it.
Signed & shared. Now onto the commissioners.
Ruth Perkins: Tahlequah

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I agree with all the reasons you've taken the time to post.

Now it's time for each of us to pass this on and take the time to contact our county commissioners and let them know that we support the immediate creation of a Whale.... Read all
Aurore Maren: Tahlequah

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Thank you so much for this Kathryn and Ken.....!!!!

Here below is a petition which would be good to sign.....and note the world wide audience it is getting.....


.... Read all
Andre & Elizabeth Enterman: Tahlequah

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I think it would be good if this zone could be entered by non-motorized vessels so as to allow and promote this less intrusive mode of whale watching. The science says that ANY vessels changes their behavior, but at least man/wind powered vessels will.... Read all