Dammed to extinction, Southern Resident Orcas are starving. Time is running out!
The 73 remaining wild critically endangered salmon-eating Southern Resident Orcas are dying from starvation. ⇒ Leaving an effective breeding population less than 30, near the point of no recovery. Breach the Lower Snake River Dams this year Why are these Orcas starving? More than 50% of their diet comes from salmon produced in the Columbia Basin, half of which were produced in the Snake River System. How is dam breaching possible? Since 2002, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has designated dam breaching as the best solution to recover wild salmon on the Snake River. The Corps of Engineers can implement breaching the dams now by using the existing 2002 EIS's 'Breach Alternative Four.' The Impact and benefits of breaching: • If the lower Snake River dams were breached, it would double or triple survival rates, restoring many millions of fish to the Columbia Basin. • Give the orcas a fighting chance to recover by increasing their food supply. • Breaching costs the state nothing. The first two dams can be breached for the cost of another EIS estimated at $80 million; 5 years to completion. • The four lower Snake River dams in Eastern Washington do not provide flood control and produce only low value surplus electricity. • Savings from these dams can be applied to more efficient dams and/or projects. • NOTHING else, not more spill across the dams, not more hatchery fish, not less boat traffic, not more studies and a new EIS can achieve this in time to save wild salmon or Southern Resident Orcas. Congressional Legislation or new appropriations are not needed to start breaching the Snake River dams this year! SENATOR PATTY MURRAY AND GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE, Please take action today and urge the Army Corps' General Helmlinger and Bonneville Power Administration's Elliot Mainzer to begin breaching dams this year. Thank you to the hundreds of thousands who have petitioned for immediate dam breaching, for those of you who want more information on how to save the salmon and orcas, visit www.damsense.org
Protect Our Oceans from Offshore Drilling
No spilling. No killing. No more drilling. The White House released a draft proposal in January 2018 to dramatically expand offshore drilling. The Trump administration seeks to open up nearly all federal waters to potential oil and gas drilling lease sales. It’s a huge mistake. And we need you to join the chorus of ocean lovers around the nation who are rallying to stop special interests from destroying our coastlines. Please make your voice heard before this dangerous proposal becomes our reality. Oil and water don't mix, as shown by recent spills. And fossil fuel extraction efforts continue to cause extreme economic harm. In 1969, a well blowout off the Santa Barbara coastline pumped nearly 4 million gallons of crude oil into the Pacific and onto the beaches of Southern California. Since then, local lawmakers and the public in California have worked tirelessly to prevent spills and leaks from ruining our environment and $18 billion coastal economy by rejecting any new oil and gas drilling leases offshore in federal waters. A ruptured pipeline spewed over 100,000 gallons of crude oil onto the biologically diverse and pristine Gaviota Coast in 2015, just west of Refugio State Beach near Santa Barbara, California, with an estimated 21,000 gallons reaching the water. The Refugio spill killed hundreds of ocean creatures, closed popular beaches for weeks and shut down fisheries for 138 square miles, severely impacting the area’s commercial and recreational anglers. The catastrophic Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill took 11 lives and caused more than $17 billion in damages to natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Let’s not risk another disaster. Now is NOT the time to roll back safety standards and abandon hard-fought protections. California representatives have taken action to safeguard our state waters from drilling out to three miles offshore. Elected officials from other states, including Oregon, Washington, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina have also vocalized strong opposition to offshore drilling in federal waters, which is seen as an assault on each respective local economy, sovereignty and our invaluable natural resources. We don't have to choose between a bustling national economy and clean, safe and healthy local environments. We can have both. The success of Marine Protected Areas along California's coast proves that making smart investments that protect our environment can benefit fisheries and tourism, while preserving ecological habitats. Ignoring the will of the people, the Trump administration is now unilaterally moving to benefit industry at the expense of the environment. We can’t let it happen. Sign this petition with Heal the Bay, California Coastkeeper Alliance and Surfrider Foundation to demand that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management "BOEM" and the United States Secretary of the Interior REJECT this proposal to drastically increase offshore drilling.
Female Genital Mutilation is an American issue. Let's push Washington State to ban FGM!
The U.S. Department of Justice decided to drop the appeal on a Detroit ruling that overturned the federal ban on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). For girls at risk of FGM, this federal ruling has put them in great jeopardy. Supporters of FGM are now empowered to think that if the federal law is not upheld, then the practice must not be wrong. And in states without anti-FGM legislation, the absence of a federal ban leaves women and girls at even greater risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 513,000 women and girls have undergone or are at risk of FGM in the United States. For me, these cases aren’t just data points. My sister is a survivor of FGM. When I was eleven and she was seven, we traveled on our own to visit our aunt in India over the summer. What I thought was a routine summer vacation turned out to be a horror story for my sister. Our aunt cut my little sister in her basement clinic. I later learned that my aunt carried this out without our parents’ consent and to this day, believes she did the right thing. I learned about my sister’s experience when she shared her story in the Guardian a few years ago. Before then, I didn’t know much about FGM. I had no idea it was happening in this country let alone in my community. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ definition, FGM is a human rights abuse, form of gender-based violence and child abuse. And in my sister’s words: FGM destroyed her childhood, shattered her self-confidence, and is something she will never fully recover from. By breaking her silence and courageously sharing her story, my sister has become part of a movement to end FGM not just in the US, but all around the world. As her brother, I stand alongside her and the many survivors on the frontlines of this movement. They should not be shouldering this burden on their own. We need more allies, including men and boys, to speak up. Right now, we have the power to send a powerful message that FGM has no place in this country. I am writing to urge Washington state legislators to pass a law banning FGM in the state of Washington, as well as provide the resources needed to support FGM survivors and educate communities (healthcare providers, religious leaders, school teachers, and policymakers) around the devastating consequences of FGM. We need a holistic approach where prosecution is not the end goal, but a pathway to prevention. I want no girl in the United States to endure what my sister went through. Washington is at risk of becoming an FGM destination state where girls are transported from states that have succeeded in criminalizing FGM. We need to close the federal loophole on FGM in the United States by lobbying for anti-FGM legislation at the state level: starting with my home state of Washington. Please join me in the fight to pass a law in Washington that criminalizes FGM.
Ban styrofoam and single use plastics in Washington State
From our beautiful coasts, to our rainforests, our mountains, our farmlands and deserts: Washington State is rich in natural beauty. It's time to take bold measures to protect it for future generations. We urge you to pass legislation that will ban the sale and use of styrofoam and single use plastics in WA State.Styrofoam and single use plastics are relatively new products of convenience and are not critical consumer goods. There are less harmful alternatives, and we need to legislate this switch away from harmful fossil fuel-based disposable goods to keep the economic impact equitable across businesses statewide. It is time we commit to phasing out these environmentally harmful products in order to protect our fields, streams, coasts, wildlife and reduce the legacy of environmental degradation that our kids will inherit.
Premera Blue Cross: My daughter needs this life sustaining medical device
My daughter Laurie Beth Nelson needs a "gastric neurostimulator". This medical device, implanted in the stomach, will stimulate the nerves that allow the stomach to empty. Laurie's insurance company Premera Blue Cross (via her employer Starbucks) is denying coverage for this device. The device is used to treat an incurable condition called gastroparesis, where the stomach no longer empties regularly, causing nausea, vomiting, and dehydration. Because Laurie has received a kidney-pancreas transplant, a feeding tube is not optional due to the risk of infection. There are no medications to treat this disease. The constant nausea and frequent vomiting that she experiences as a result of the gastroparesis are making it difficult for her to absorb her transplant medications that prevent rejection of her transplanted organs. Laurie has been admitted to the hospital monthly, sometimes weekly, for IV. hydration and medication that she cannot keep down due to nausea and vomiting. Premera Blue Cross helped cover the cost of her life-saving transplant, but refuses to cover this device which will keep it from failing. After all that Laurie has endured to stay alive, this is inconceivable, but true. Please demand that Premera Blue Cross pay for the gastric neurostimulator so that Laurie can continue her fight for a normal, healthy life.
Citizens Against Contaminated Water for Service Members and their Families
Residents of JBLM are experiencing brown water and have for years. Within the last year, the brown water issue has greatly affected residence’s abilities to bathe, complete simple daily tasks such as laundry, running a dish washer or simply washing their hands. This brown water has been deemed “safe” to drink and bathe in, despite multiple residences experiencing serious skin allergic reactions, and even hospitalization. Though it has been recognized by Department of Public Works, Joint Base Lewis McChord Communities, and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, it continues to be a daily struggle for residents to believe and trust that their water is safe. They have been told the water is "safe to drink" despite the color and foul smell. Joint Base Lewis-McChord Communities takes no responsibility regarding the water quality issue and directs all residents to Department of Public Works, who claims the routine hydrant flushes “do nothing” about the water quality. A recent report was released from the Department of Defense that states the water at or around at least 126 military installations contains potentially harmful levels of perfluorinated compounds. These contaminants have been linked to cancers and developmental delays for fetuses and infants. These chemicals are man-made and found in firefighting foam used by the DoD. This has residents at JBLM and several other military bases in the CONUS very concerned. Despite the closure of 3 wells on JBLM, the problem is still on-going. Residents have been urged to contact the proper channels when experiencing these issues and nothing continues to be done. Water that reeks of chlorine, has sediment and an orange tinge is NOT safe to consume and residents deserve clean drinking water and a safe living environment. Meanwhile, houses on base are being renovated and updated, and age old pipes that cause these water issues are ignored. Join us to fight this cause.
Get Washington State to Hold Police Officers Accountable for Police Brutality
In House Bill 1064, police officers are let off the hook for unjust use of deadly force; While they receive ‘training’ to use deadly force only when needed, Washington state Seattle PD had been court ordered to reduce aggression and found guilty of “constitutional violations regarding the use of force that result from structural problems, as well as serious concerns about biased policing” (Department of Justice) and “Officers and activists alike offer mixed reviews on the impact of the court order” (Seattle Times). These concerns were supposed to be addressed but the Seattle PD is still nationally known for their unnecessary violence. Washington State still has “good faith” and “malicious intent” clauses. These clauses are meant to protect cops, but are too lenient and keep cops from being held accountable for their actions. They are “an almost perfect defense to a mistaken use of force has kept police officers out of court as defendants” (King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg). This is especially problematic when “...a disproportionate number of the 213 [deaths due to police encounters from 2004 - 2013] were African Americans” (The Seattle Times). You might think 213 deaths over 9 years isn’t enough for it to be that big of a problem, but these deaths are only ones that were notable enough to be covered by the media or reported in periods where there wasn’t anything major going on in the world and doesn’t include numbers victims of police brutality that lived. 213 victims of police violence in WA is an incredibly inaccurate and conservative number. We need to hold police accountable for acts of senseless violence in Washington State and we can’t until these malevolent clauses are repealed!
Stand with the Puyallup Tribe - No LNG Fracked Gas in the Salish Sea!
Dakota Case is a young father, a grandson and a fisherman in the Puyallup Tribe of Washington State. His family and many of our families have been living off the salmon in the Puget Sound for centuries, but our home – and our planet – is now at risk because of a proposed 8 million gallon liquefied fracked gas (LNG) facility. Sign our petition to protect our home and demand that Governor Inslee take action to stop this harmful project. Dakota and the Puyallup tribe call themselves the “salmon people” – if the salmon disappear, they say they will too. But this LNG facility puts all of us in danger. It would create an immediate and unreasonable danger to the thousands of people within three miles of the massive storage tank and would require a steady supply of fracked gas from offsite wells. Communities living near those wells would be exposed to toxins and carcinogens used in the fracking process. What’s more, this facility would help to cement us into a future dependent on fossil fuels which cause climate change. We need to retire fossil fuel projects, not build new ones. The review process for the LNG project has been marked by conflict of interests, failure to consult with the Puyallup Tribe, and huge failures to accurately quantify the environmental and human impacts of the project. Whether you live in the facility's “blast zone,” in Tacoma, or anywhere on this planet, this project will affect you. Stand with the Puyallup Tribe, sign our petition and help us protect our home, Mother Earth, from further destruction.
Seattle Restaurants United: Save Restaurants & Bars, Save the City
Restaurants and bars are central to the soul of any city. Here in Seattle, our community’s diversity, values, and spirit are expressed through the take-out counters, fine dining establishments, and late-night spots that unite us. Each of these is a stage for memories, big and small: birthdays, anniversaries, networking, catching up with friends, chance meetings. The COVID 19 pandemic is crippling communities around the world. Our local restaurants and bars are doing their part to stem the spread of the virus by shuttering their doors as we all endure this unprecedented challenge. Without significant and immediate financial relief, many restaurants and bars in Seattle will not reopen afterward. When our restaurants and bars suffer, so do farmers, distilleries, and other suppliers. As do property owners, who will struggle with revenue loss and trying to lease vacant spaces in an economic downturn. Large corporate franchises, not locally-owned small businesses, will have the upper hand in this new real estate market. If these spaces remain empty, we risk becoming a city of boarded up storefronts. Our beloved retail/restaurant community will change dramatically. Seattle’s soul and spirit will be shattered, damaging a brand that makes our city a top choice for a talented resident workforce, scholars, and business and leisure tourism. Seattle Restaurants United is a coalition of local restaurants and bars urging City, State, and Federal legislators to boldly protect our businesses and employees from destitution, thus protecting our community from losing a vital part of itself. No one enters the service industry to get rich. We do it for love of food, love of craft, and love of you, the people. We work miracles on a tight budget, stretching thin margins for maximum community benefit. Seattle-area restaurants and bars annually contribute $3+ billion to our economy and support a broad network of other economies through supply chains. Seattle restaurants’ net products and contributions are almost 100% local. Investing in us is a direct investment in the people that live and work in our region, and it’s the people, not large corporations, who will suffer the most from this pandemic. Right now, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) is lobbying Congress for stimulus funding, but the NRA primarily represents large restaurant chains and foodservice corporations. The voice of independent restaurants and bars is not being heard. Please raise your voice to save our local restaurants and bars, and the many employed by them. For Employee and Owner/Operator resources, please visit our website:www.seattlerestaurantsunited.com/resources
Stop the Navy from "Taking" 295,715 Marine Mammals in the PNW
The U.S. Navy recently applied for exemption under the Marine Mammal Protection Act for the "incidental take" of marine mammals, in order to carry out training and testing activities in the Pacific Northwest. If approved, such activities would directly impact the endangered Southern Resident killer whales while traveling through or foraging in the Navy’s area of operations. It would also impact thousands of other marine mammals that live in the Salish Sea and surrounding areas. Incidental take. Never have two such small, casual words held so much meaning. Let’s first be clear on the meaning of take. It does have a broader meaning under the law, “to [or attempt to] harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal,” and also includes, “the doing of any negligent or intentional act which results in disturbing or molesting a marine mammal feeding.” However, it’s highly reasonable to assume that take can result in the loss of an animal, even if not on the day of an event. Incidental is somewhat synonymous with accidental but is deemed foreseeable. But despite being foreseeable—and therefore preventable— it is still allowed by law under certain circumstances. If ever there came an abysmal time to add a source of potential harm to this population, it would be now. 2020 has been another record-breaking year of near non-attendance by these whales in the Salish Sea, legally designated as their “core critical habitat.” Not at all surprising, given that the spring return to the Fraser River of their favored prey—Chinook salmon—is at an all-time low. The proposal allows for various cetacean species to be impacted by testing and training practices. These testing include, Torpedo Exercise—Submarine (TORPEX—Sub), Tracking Exercise—Submarine (TRACKEX—Sub), Mine Neutralization—Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Civilian Port Defense—Homeland Security Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection Exercises, Bombing Exercise (Air-to-Surface) (BOMBEX [A-S]), Gunnery Exercise (Surface-to-Surface)—Ship (GUNEX [S-S]—Ship), Missile Exercise (Air-to-Surface) (MISSILEX [A-S]), Submarine Sonar Maintenance, Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Training, and a lot more. The Navy also acknowledges that "acoustic and explosives stressors are most likely to result in impacts on marine mammals that could rise to the level of harassment, and NMFS concurs with this determination". Yet they still plan on going through with the proposal. We cannot allow this. The Salish Sea is a precious habitat for the Southern Residents and countless other marine animals. The Southern Residents cannot afford an impact on even a single individual. But yet the Navy is seeking authority to take up to 51 whales. That’s right. 51 out of an Endangered population that stands today at 72 animals. This is deemed negligible? Negligent, neglectful certainly, but NOT negligible. Sign and help us stop this! We need to use our voices to stop this. We can prevent the extinction of this species and keep thousands of other animals safe. Sign. Please. Thank you to Wild Orca & their volunteers who wrote most of this! They are doing incredible work & first notified us about this issue. Please go and support them