[MARMAM] San Juan County Passes Local Ordinance to Protect Southern Resident Killer Whales

Kari Koski soundwatch at whalemuseum.org
Thu Sep 13 18:02:24 PDT 2007


>Hi All,
>
>I wanted to update interested parties on a recent unprecedented 
>legal action taken by a small local government in Washington State, 
>U.S.A., to help protect the endangered population of  Southern 
>Resident Killer Whales from irresponsible boaters.
>
>I work as the Director of The Whale Museum's Soundwatch Boater 
>Education Program located in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island in 
>Washington State. Soundwatch has been working since 1993 to help 
>reduce disturbances to whales and other marine wildlife through the 
>development, distribution, and implementation of best practice 
>guidelines and to annually characterize vessel activity trends for 
>area marine management agencies. Soundwatch has worked with many 
>partners to create the regional Be Whale Wise Guidelines for 
>Boaters, Paddlers and Viewers that are used throughout Washington 
>State and British Columbia, Canada.
>
>The Southern Resident Killer Whale population was listed as 
>endangered under the Endangered Species Act by the National Marine 
>Fisheries Service in 2005. In 2006 the National Marine Fisheries 
>Service designated Critical Habitat Areas for this population with 
>the Summer Core Habitat centering on the waters located in and 
>around San Juan County. Recognizing that large numbers of commercial 
>and recreational vessels frequent the waters of San Juan County, and 
>that one of the listed threats to this population are effects from 
>vessel traffic, the San Juan County Council was presented with a 
>proposal from several local NGO's to create a local ordinance to 
>help protect the whales from vessel traffic occurring in the 
>county.  After considerable public testimony, written statements and 
>reports from local NGO's and business groups such as Soundwatch, 
>Friends of the San Juans, Orca Relief, the Whale Watch Operators 
>Association Northwest as well as  governmental agencies including 
>NOAA fisheries, the United States Coast Guard, the Washington 
>Department of Fish and Wildlife, the San Juan Marine Resources 
>Committee, the San Juan County Sheriff and the San Juan County 
>Prosecuting Attorney, the San Juan County Council signed into effect 
>on September 11, 2007 "An Ordinance Regulating The Operation of 
>Vessels in Proximity to the Southern Resident Killer Whales, an 
>Endangered Species,and Establishing Penalties for the Violation 
>Thereof" based on the current Be Whale Wise Guidelines for boaters.
>
>View the San Juan County Orca Ordinance:
>http://www.whale-museum.org/museum/press/latest/San%20Juan%20County%20ORCA%20ORDINANCE.pdf
>
>  View the Be Whale Wise Guidelines:
>http://www.whale-museum.org/downloads/soundwatch/2006BWWPoster.pdf
>
>For further information on this process or the ordinance, you can 
>direct questions to soundwatch at whalemuseum.org and I can help and/or 
>direct you to the right folks.
>
>Regards,
>Kari Koski
>Soundwatch Director
>
>
>
>
>Great News! Raise money for The Whale Museum and its programs just by
>searching the Internet with GoodSearch - 
><http://www.goodsearch.com/>www.goodsearch.com - powered by Yahoo!
>... it doesn't cost you a penny!...but those pennies add up to help 
>the whales!
>
>Kari Koski, Soundwatch Director
>soundwatch at whalemuseum.org
>The Whale Museum
>P.O. Box 945
>Friday Harbor, WA 98250
>360-378-4710 Box 33
>360-317-4339 Cell
>360-378-5790 Fax
>www.whalemuseum.org
>Be Whale Wise!
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