Success! Removal of last river dams to help threatened orcas in the US
Great news has emerged from the US concerning our work to protect the endangered orca population known as the Southern Residents.
The Southern Resident orcas of the Pacific Northwest is a group of just over 70 individuals, the only orca population listed as endangered in the US and, after decades of campaigning work by tribes, conservation groups (including WDC), and river users, it has been officially announced that a number of dams on the Klamath River are to come down. This is great news for the Southern Resident orcas, who rely on Klamath River salmon as part of their seasonal diet. These dams have blocked the river for more than 100 years and their removal will be the largest project of its kind in US history.
The final permit to allow four outdated dams on the river to come down has now been approved, which hopefully will free the river by 2025. Native Tribes in the Klamath Basin, with deep cultural ties to salmon, have led the work to 'UnDam the Klamath' for decades.
With your help, we collected signatures to support legislation in Congress, cheered on the owners of the dams for choosing to take them down, submitted technical comments throughout the complicated permitting process, and joined education and outreach events to highlight the connection to Southern Resident orcas as Tribes and California-based organisations led the way.
WDC is proud to have represented the Southern Residents’ voice in the process to make sure the benefits to the whales were considered. We couldn’t have made it this far without you – thank you for supporting this work for nearly a decade. This win is for you, too.
Support our ongoing work to help wild orcas recover by making a donation.
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