I’m gratified to say that new sets of Memorial Prayer Flags are now ready for honoring nine Southern Resident Orcas we lost from January 2106 through January 2017. Making this kind of art helped me accept the sadness of how badly this group of whales is endangered. Visit the Orca Memorial Prayer Flags page to order a set for yourself or for a gift. You can also find them at the Langley Whale Center whose staff collaborated on their creation.
Although Granny died at about 105 years old, the rest are presumed to have died mainly from malnutrition. Runs of King salmon, their preferred diet, continue to dwindle. As my sadness lifts, I continue to learn about our rivers where local salmon spawn and bubbles of hope come from good efforts to restore the natural habitat of the local Skagit River.
For even more hope, I came across Erich Hoyt’s overview of the many efforts to improve whales’ habitats and lives worldwide. It is written for young adults and includes naturalists’ photos of regular folk spending part of their time and energy to help solve our big ocean problems.
The rest of us may not be working on the rivers and beaches but can contribute in our own ways to this coming whale watching season by getting out there to see them and by donations to their related non-profit organizations. My choice is the local Orcanetwork which also lets me whale watch from home on its weekly whale watching site.
As the spring warms up, you can check in on the whales by flying a set of Orca Memorial flags, by watching online, or getting out on the ocean - all lively choices.
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