How Washington is doing on orca recovery — and what comes next

Moving forward

  • We need to push forward with implementing the Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force’s 2019 recommendations.
  • We need to continue to partner with Canada and major ports to continue to keep tabs on and reduce shipping impacts. Bonus: Puget Sound’s major ports (Seattle, Tacoma, and Northwest Seaport Alliance) and numerous collaborators will soon launch a Joint Innovation Project to reduce shipping impacts as part of the Governor’s Maritime Blue initiative.
  • We need to continue to work with the United States Navy to reduce noise and disturbance impacts from training activities around orcas.
  • We need to support Chinook salmon recovery by preserving and restoring habitat. A lot of how the state does this is through grant funding from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation office by way of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Program, the Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program, the Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board, and the Washington Coastal Restoration Initiative.
  • We need to protect riparian ecosystems through work led by the Governor’s Office with support from tribal governments and state partners.
  • We need continued support to protect natural resources and the environment. For example, to better protect shorelines, we need to create a compliance program based on the new hydraulic project approval civil authorities granted by the Legislature.
  • We need to prioritize better data that tracks the state’s progress on creating more food for orcas, reducing noise, and cleaning up Puget Sound.

Six ways to help:



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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife


The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources.