Speak Out for Endangered Orcas

Endangered orcas in the Pacific Northwest are on the verge of dying out, and the overall population is at an alarmingly low level. The main cause — not enough wild salmon, the whales' main prey.

You have an opportunity to fix this. The federal government is seeking public comments by January 27 on managing dams in the region, including four dams in the lower Snake River that have severely damaged wild salmon populations.

Removing these dams is the key to restoring salmon and saving endangered Puget Sound orcas. Current salmon recovery efforts are ineffective and out of control. Over the last two decades, federal agencies have spent more than $8 billion to restore Columbia and Snake River salmon. According to an investigation from Congress, there is NO evidence that any of these actions has succeeded.

Meanwhile, orcas are emaciated and dying out.

Please add your name to this letter urging the federal government to say NO to salmon-killing dams and YES to saving endangered orcas.

Dear decision-maker,

Subject: Remove the Snake River dams--restore wild salmon

It's past time to remove the four outdated, salmon-killing dams on the lower Snake River. This is an alternative you must consider fully and fairly in the court-ordered environmental impact statement you are preparing for managing the Columbia and Snake River dams.

You must base your analysis of this alternative on the best available science about salmon and other species that depend on them, including endangered orca. The analysis must also fully account for the market and non-market economic costs and benefits of dam removal, including the benefits of a restored river and the money tax- and rate-payers will save if the dams are removed. You must incorporate in your evaluation replacing the electricity from these dams with low-cost carbon-free power, not power from fossil fuels. And you must actually mitigate the existing and future impacts of climate change on Snake River salmon.

Such an analysis will lead you to conclude that these dams must go. We don't need them anymore--but we do need to bring back our irreplaceable wild salmon. The biggest step we can take on the path to salmon restoration in the Snake is to remove the lower Snake River dams.

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