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Endangered Southern Resident killer whales need your help!


There are many ways you can get involved and use your voice to help the endangered Southern Resident killer whales (orcas), including the issues regarding the Snake River dams, Trans Mountain pipeline, etc.

Why should the 4 lower Snake River Dams be breached?

The endangered exclusively fish-eating ecotype Southern Resident killer whales (orcas) of the Pacific Northwest comprised of  J, K, & L Pods are threatened with extinction. Prior to the 20th century there were more than 200 Southern Resident killer whales. Today there are only 73 members living in the wild. Tokitae (Lolita) is a Southern Resident killer whale - she has been kept in captivity for 52+ years. The fate of their primary food source (up to 80%) Chinook Salmon is inherently connected to their continual decrease in population. The lower snake river dams have severely impacted the crucial spawning habitat of endangered Chinook Salmon which in recent years have dropped to 1%.

List of policy & factual points for breaching the four lower snake river dams by Damsense:

Why should the Trans Mountain pipeline be stopped?

The Trans Mountain pipeline would cross more than 500 streams in the Fraser River watershed. Tanker visits would increase by 574% above 2010 levels to more than 400 oil-laden trips through Burrard Inlet, the Fraser estuary, the Gulf Islands, Haro Strait and Juan de Fuca Strait, every year. Even if the project goes completely according to plan, with no oil spills and no ship strikes, the increased noise from 800+ tanker transits annually (in and out) significantly increases the risk of extinction for the Southern Resident killer whales (orcas). When cumulative effects are considered, this species could face more than 50% chance of functional extinction within the next century.

We have compiled numerous articles regarding the Southern Resident killer whales and the threats they are facing. Please click the button below for more information. 

For more information about the Snake River dams: Please watch Free the Snake, DamNation, & Artifishal. You can find all of these on our Recommended Viewing page (Scroll down to the Youtube section).

TAKE ACTION: Breaching the lower Snake River dams

URGENT - Speak up & write in support of breaching the lower Snake River dams:
Urge the Biden Administration to uphold their promises!

The Biden Administration is hosting a virtual listening session on Friday, March 31, from 10:00am - 1:00pm PT regarding the removal of the lower Snake River dams. Please register to join this session and consider being a speaker on behalf of breaching the dams. Please click here to register for the webinar.

  • The Idaho Conservation League has provided helpful talking points to reference for the listening session and writing to the Biden Administration/ U.S. Representatives. Please click here to access the talking points from the Idaho Conservation League.

  • Columbia River Keeper has provided helpful talking points to reference for the listening session and writing to the Biden Administration / U.S. Representatives. Click here to download the PDF talking points from Columbia River Keeper.

  • Additional info (please reference for virtual session and letter to Biden Administration): Breaching the LSRDs will help combat climate change.  The warm stagnant reservoirs behind the dams emit significant methane gas, which will end with breaching.  After the dams have been breached, the restored vegetation along the 140 mile river corridor will sequester a lot more carbon than the current barren banks. Breaching will also bolster carbon storage in the forests and grasslands upstream of the dams, with more salmon bringing more nutrients to these inland areas.

  • Additional info (please reference for virtual session and letter to Biden Administration): Breaching the LSRDs will be a big boost to the Biden Admin’s 30 x 30 program (protecting 30% of US lands and waters by 2030).  A 140 mile corridor from Tri-Cities WA to Lewiston ID, over 14,000 acres of valuable wetlands and riparian areas will be restored, providing crucial habitat and connectivity for native wildlife and plants.

Please click the button below to sign a pre-written letter urging the Biden Administration to keep its promises and honor the science behind breaching the lower Snake River dams.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Handwritten letters are far more impactful! Please consider hand-writing your letter and sending it to your U.S. Representatives. You can reference the pre-written letter via the button below and/or reference the talking points and notes above to create a letter in your own words.

E-Message: Urge Governor Inslee to act in unison with the Biden Administration on breaching the lower Snake River dams & establish a Washington State timeline of actions/milestones to be completed by Dec. 1, 2022.

E-Message: Encourage Senator Cantwell to lend her support to this cause. You can send an e-message (email) through the form on her website.

E-Message Government Officials: The "Southern Resident Killer Whale Chinook Salmon Initiative" has created quick links to send messages to Government Officials (President, Gov Inslee, U.S. Reps, etc.) in regards to breaching the lower snake river dams.


Click the button below to get started - scroll down on the web page to read additional talking points and facts about the issues/solutions.


Stand with Native Youth: Support Removal of the Snake River Dams (petition started by CTUIR Youth Leadership Council)


“Restore the Snake River” - Tell Congress and the administration to protect salmon and orcas by breaching the dams. (via Earth Justice)

Phone scripts and talking points about breaching the lower Snake River dams: This can be used for reference when making phone calls, writing letters/emails, etc.

Call: Urge Governor Inslee to act in unison with the Biden Administration on breaching the lower Snake River dams & establish a Washington State specific timeline of actions and milestones to be completed by Dec. 1, 2022.


Phone number: 360-902-4111  [option 2]

Call: It is also important to encourage Senator Cantwell to lend her support to this cause.


Phone number: 202-234-3441


Urge the Biden Administration to work with Northwest people to modernize the Columbia River Treaty! (via Save Our Wild Salmon)


Tell the Department of Energy to breach the Lower Snake River Dams this year. (via Southern Resident Killer Whale Chinook Salmon Initiative)


Petition to Washington State Legislators - Take Action to Stop Salmon Extinction:
NW Salmon Restoration Campaign

"By taking key actions during the current 2023 Legislative Session, we can lead efforts to recover endangered salmon and steelhead across Washington,honor promises to Tribal Nations, feed hungry endangered Southern Resident Orcas, modernize critical transportation, agriculture, and clean energy infrastructure, and enhance economic opportunities for every corner of our state."
This campaign will have a positive impact on the endangered Southern Resident killer whales (orcas).

Email Petition (includes email sample letter and info):
Against Port Expansion in the Fraser Estuary, BC

From A.P.E.:  Container terminal expansions on Roberts Bank, B.C. - Canadian and B.C. Governments' Gateway projects in the Fraser River estuary will pave over farmland, lower the quality of life for thousands of Lower Mainland residents, and destroy globally-significant wildlife habitats. This will directly impact the Southern Resident Orcas.

To learn more about this issue, please click here to read the full article via 'The Tyee'.

Please click the button below  to view the A.P.E. site and take action!

Email Secretary Granholm (includes pre-written email):
Urge DOE Secretary Granholm to ensure BPA aligns with the current Administration!

From Save Our Wild Salmon:  August and September of 2022 saw a string of important policy developments affecting endangered Snake River salmon, imperiled orcas, and many Northwest Tribes. BUT THE BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION ISN’T ON BOARD. Advocates for solutions that work for salmon and orcas, Tribes, utilities, farmers, and anglers  are telling USDOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm, in the strongest terms, to ensure BPA aligns with the rest of the Biden Administration, Northwest Members of Congress, Governor Inslee, and community stakeholders on Snake River restoration. 

TAKE ACTION: Stop the Trans Mountain Pipeline

Email Trans Mountain’s insurers (includes pre-written email):
Drop the (Trans Mountain) pipeline now!

From Trans Mountain must secure insurance for its dirty tar sands pipeline, or it cannot continue. Making the pipeline un-insurable is a critical way to stop the project in its tracks. If built, the new Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project would ship more than 590,000 barrels per day of highly polluting tar sands crude to the B.C. coast. This would increase Canada’s climate emissions and make it impossible to meet our Paris commitments.

Trudeau must reconsider Trans Mountain

From  Updated climate science from international bodies has confirmed that Trans Mountain is incompatible with efforts to limit global warming to 1.5ºC. The impacts of climate change have already started arriving in Canada, with record-breaking heat waves, wildfires, and flooding – causing over 600 deaths in B.C. from climate-related disasters in 2021. Please sign the petition calling on Justin Trudeau and his new cabinet to formally stop construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline and conduct a comprehensive review of the project. 

Defund Trans Mountain, Fund a Green New Deal

From  Call on federal leaders to defund the multi-billion dollar Trans Mountain pipeline and invest in a made-in-Canada Green New Deal. Tell our federal party leaders that our dollars need to go toward tackling the climate crisis, creating millions of decent jobs, and investing in our communities — not expensive, dangerous fossil fuel projects.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

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