Urge your legislators to reduce vessel impacts to orcas

Urge your legislators to support House Bill 1580 / Senate Bill 5577, concerning the protection of southern resident orca whales from vessels.

Of the three main threats facing the Southern Resident orcas, reducing vessel noise and disturbance impacts is the most immediate action we can take to give orcas the space and quiet waters they need to communicate and increase their ability to find scarce Chinook salmon to eat. This bill would enact crucial recommendations from the Orca Recovery Task Force that RE Sources supporters like you helped make a priority for lawmakers this year. Read more about Orca Emergency Response here.


Please paste the following comment (and personalize, if willing and able) into the comment form for both HB 1580 here and SB 5577 here.

Before submitting, make sure you click the Support option for each bill and mark all three of your district's legislators to receive your comment.


Orcas need slower boats, a protective buffer around them, and a permit system for commercial whale watching vessels.

This bill is part of the Orca Emergency Response Priority that reflects the Orca Recovery Task Force’s recommendations for bold action.

Of the 3 main threats facing the Southern Resident orcas, reducing vessel noise and disturbance impacts is the most immediate action we can take to give orcas the space and quiet waters they need to increase their ability to find scarce Chinook salmon to eat. We can turn down the noise and disturbance dial right now, which can’t be done so quickly with salmon restoration or reducing toxics.

The presence of boats, even quiet ones, changes orca behavior in ways that can make them spend more energy, for example, avoiding boats instead of pausing to forage. The number, proximity, and speed of boats all matter for the level of disturbance and the amount of noise affecting the orcas. Thank you.