Department of Natural Resources requests $90 million for orca, salmon habitat

Submitted by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources: Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz announced on Nov. 19, a nearly $90 million package of aquatic habitat protections and improvements to be carried out by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

Puget Sound’s Southern resident orcas have declined to a 30-year low of just 74. According to Gov. Jay Inslee’s Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force, the decline in orca populations is influenced primarily by vessel traffic and noise, toxic contaminants in the water, poor nearshore habitat and declining prey, particularly Chinook salmon.