skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, December 4, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

NH gun-safety advocates advise services, bipartisan laws after deadly shootings; Food banks, pantries address rising food insecurity during winter holidays; Despite cost debate, some MN businesses intrigued by paid-leave law.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Muslim American leaders in swing states like Michigan threaten to Abandon Biden, VP Harris criticizes greenwashing at COP28, former congresswoman Cheney calls the GOP a "threat," and George Santos is expelled.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

WA Bill Supports Orcas' Need for More Space from Boaters

play audio
Play

Wednesday, February 8, 2023   

Whales are disturbed by vessel noise, but a measure in Olympia would provide a greater buffer for the endangered orcas in Puget Sound.

The legislation increases the distance that recreational boaters must maintain from Southern Resident killer whales, from 400 yards to a thousand yards. That puts the distance in line with whale-watching vehicles.

Joe Gaydos, science director of the SeaDoc Society at the University of Califonia Davis, signed a letter of support for the bill - along with other scientists and organizations. He said making distances the same for all boats would be beneficial.

"People see those big whale-watch boats, they see the name on the side," said Gaydos. "'Okay, I cannot get any closer than that boat.' Those whale-watch boats are providing a guideline for the public, who is not as educated as the whale watchers."

Opponents to some of the bill's language have expressed concern that navigating some parts of Puget Sound could be difficult if Southern Resident orcas need a thousand-yard distance.

The measure is scheduled for an executive session on Thursday in the state Senate.

Lovel Pratt, marine protection and policy director for the Friends of the San Juans, said a recent study showed orcas need a healthy distance in order to forage for food.

"The female orcas, when they're pregnant or when they're nursing their young, they have to consume even more food to do that adequately," said Pratt. "And they were particularly impacted by the vessels when they conducted these studies - even more so than the male Southern Residents."

Julie Watson, killer whale policy lead for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, noted that there are only 73 whales left in the Southern Resident population.

"These whales have a lot of pressure on them and their numbers have just dwindled," said Watson. "So, we're trying to save this iconic species that's really core to the people of the Pacific Northwest, and the people of Washington."

She added that people can keep up-to-date online on current laws for viewing whales, at 'BeWhaleWise.org.'




get more stories like this via email
more stories
According to data by SCORE, 75% of small business owners donate an average of 6% of their profits to charitable organizations each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Small Business Saturday has come and gone and the North Carolina Sustainable Business Council urged people to keep "shopping local" this season…


Social Issues

play sound

Gun-safety advocates in New Hampshire are urging Gov. Chris Sununu to back policies proven to reduce gun violence following a series of deadly …

Social Issues

play sound

A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found the repayment process for federal student loans has been filled with errors…


Minnesota's new paid leave law, scheduled to take effect in 2026, will distribute benefits through a state-operated insurance pool funded by employers and employees. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Minnesota is two years away from enacting its new paid leave law and while the debate over costs has resurfaced, some in the small business community …

Social Issues

play sound

A lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's collective near-total bargaining ban for most public workers is by some seen as a way to bolster the state's beleagu…

The Environmental Protection Agency is working on rules that will incentivize the transition to heavy-duty electric vehicles. (VanderWolf Images/Adobestock)

play sound

As the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai wraps up, Democratic lawmakers and clean-air advocates are calling on the Environmental …

Environment

play sound

NASA-funded research using satellites to study atmospheric nitrogen will examine how different farming approaches affect greenhouse gas emissions…

play sound

The American Gas Association misled the public on the health effects of burning gas for decades. Now, a coalition wants the Washington State …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021