Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery and Task Force

On March 14, 2018 the Governor signed Executive Order 18-02 designating state agencies to take several immediate actions to benefit southern residents, and establishing a Task Force to develop a longer-term action recommendations for orca recovery and future sustainability.  The Governor invited members of the Legislature, the Government of Canada, representatives from tribal, federal, local and other state governments, the private sector and the non-profit sector to participate in the Task Force.  The Task Force also includes designees from the lead state agencies, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Puget Sound Partnerships, and from multiple other state agencies.

The Task Force is charged with preparing a comprehensive report and recommendations for recovering Southern Residents, with a full draft due by October 1, 2018, and a final report by November 1, 2018. The report should detail actions that will address all of the major threats to Southern Residents, including prey availability, toxic contaminants, and disturbance from noise and vessel traffic. A second report outlining the progress made, lessons learned, and outstanding needs will be completed by October 1, 2019.


  • Previous Task Force Meetings
  • Future Task Force Meetings

    • Task Force meeting #3: August 7
      • 9 am to 4 pm, Confluence Technology Center, 285 Technology Center Way, Wenatchee
    • Task Force meeting #4: August 28
      • 10 am to 5 pm, Swinomish Casino and Lodge, 12885 Casino Drive, Anacortes
    • Task Force meeting #5: October 18
      • In Lacey/Olympia (times and venue TBD)
  • Future Working Group Meetings

    • Vessels Working Group:
      • July 12, 10 am to 4 pm, location, Federal Center South, 4735 East Marginal Way South, Seattle
    • Contaminants Working Group:
      • May 21, Tacoma Central Wastewater Treatment Facility
      • July 19, 10 am to 4 pm, Department of Ecology, 300 Desmond Dr SE, Lacey
    • Prey Working Group:
      • May 29, 9 am, Columbia Room, Legislative Building (Washington State Capitol), Olympia
      • June 25, 10 am to 4 pm, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife office, Southwest Region, 5525 S 11th Street, Ridgefield
      • July 25, 10 am to 4 pm, Natural Resource Building, Olympia
      • August 9, 10 am to 4 pm, Puget Sound Energy Wild Horse Wind Farm Renewable Energy Center, 25905 Vantage Highway, Ellensburg
    • All Working Group Integration Workshop:
      • August 20, 10 am to 3 pm, location TBD (in the Seattle/Auburn/Federal Way area)


See List of Members

  • Co-chair, Stephanie  Solien, vice chair of the Puget Sound Partnership Leadership Council
  • Co-chair, Thomas (Les) Purce, formerly president of Evergreen State College
  • Phil Anderson, Pacific Salmon Council
  • JT Austin, Governor's office
  • Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research
  • Lynne Barre, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Maia Bellon, Washington State Department of Ecology
  • Rep. Brian Blake (D), District 19, Aberdeen
  • Chad Bowechop, Makah Tribe
  • Bryce Campbell, Global Affairs Canada
  • Gary Chandler, Association of Washington Business
  • Karen Condon, Colville Confederated Tribes
  • Kaleen Cottingham, Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office
  • Jeff Dickison, Squaxin Island Tribe
  • Mark Doumit, Washington Forest Protection Association
  • Ron Garner, Puget Sound Anglers
  • Joe Gaydos, The SeaDoc Society
  • Brendan Flynn, Commercial Fisherman
  • Jeff Friedman, Pacific Whale Watch Association
  • Chairman Leonard Forsman, Suquamish Tribe
  • Cecilia Gobin, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission
  • Dave Herrera, Skokomish Tribe
  • Mayor Will Hall, City of Shoreline
  • George Harris, NW Marine Trade Association
  • Commissioner Andy Hover, Okanogan County
  • Chairman Jay Julius, Lummi Nation
  • B.J. Kieffer, Spokane Tribe
  • Rep. Drew MacEwen (R), District 35, Union
  • Paul McCollum, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe
  • Kelly McLain, Washington State Department of Agriculture
  • Virginia Painter, Washington State Parks
  • Commissioner Kathy Pittis, Port of Anacortes
  • Sen. Kevin Ranker (D), District 40, Orcas Island
  • Mindy Roberts, Washington Environmental Council
  • Donna Sandstrom, The Whale Trail
  • Sheida Sahandy, Puget Sound Partnership
  • Amy Scarton, Washington State Department of Transportation
  • Ron Schulz, Washington State Conservation Commission
  • Evan Sheffels, Washington State Farm Bureau
  • Brad Smith, Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission
  • Butch Smith, Ilwaco Charters
  • Commissioner Jamie Stephens, San Juan County
  • Kristin Swenddal, Washington State Department of Natural Resources
  • Trina Wellman, Northern Economics, Inc.
  • Jacques White, Long Live The Kings
  • Amy Windrope, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Chairman Tom Wooten, Samish Indian Nation


Background information

Executive Action Reports