If You See Orcas Off Washingtons Coast, Stay This Far Away!
Stay This Far Away from Orca on Washingtons Coastline
Orcas are beautiful but dangerous animals and now Washington State wants to make sure you stay at least this far away from these animals if spotted off the coast.
Washington State Passes New Orca Law in 2023
Orca whales are one of Washington's most unique and beautiful animals. Our state is one of the only places in the entire world where you can see Orca year around. People travel from all over the world to see these amazing animals that live in our backyard, and sometimes that attention is not good for the Orca.
Now a new law has been passed to keep you a safe distance from Orcas, not because of the danger to you but because of your danger to them.
Washington State House Bill 5371
In order to protect the Orcas that live off the Washington State coast, the Legislature passed Washington State Senate Bill 5371, to protect the"endangered southern resident orcas by 9 reducing underwater noise and disturbance from vessels, which is one 10 of the three main threats to the population's recovery, along with 11 availability of their preferred prey, Chinook salmon, and 12 contaminants in their food and environment".
The bill was been passed by both the House and the Senate on April 11, 2023, and has been delivered to the governor to be signed into law.
How Far Should You Stay Away from Orcas?
The bill sets up a "1,000-yard setback distance for commercial recreational vessels" of people trying to spot the whales. That distance makes sense, being the same distance that is kept by law for regular whale-watching boats and vessels. After being signed by the Governor, the bill is set to take effect in January 2025.
This action is needed to help the resident orca population that has struggled in the recent past. Washington State Senator Lovelett says it's not just about Orca but, "it’s about safeguarding our entire marine ecosystem and ensuring that future generations can enjoy the beauty and bounty of the Salish Sea. We are also creating new opportunities for sustainable tourism that respects the natural environment and supports local businesses" according to the Washington State Democrats.
7 Famous Delicious Soda and Beers Created in Washington State