Southern Resident Orca 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.

General public comments

Please use this link to submit any general feedback or comments to the Southern Resident Orca Task Force.

Final report and recommendations

On November 16, the task force released a final comprehensive report and recommendations for recovering Southern Residents. The report details potential options to address the major threats to Southern Residents, including prey availability, toxic contaminants and disturbance from noise and vessel traffic.The governor and staff will assess each recommendation for the most impact in the short and long-term.

The task force shared the details of their final recommendations at a press conference on November 16, 2018.

The governor will roll out his budget and policy priorities in mid-December for consideration during the 2019 Legislative Session.

Draft report versions and public comments

  • A draft report of potential recommendations was released on September 24, 2018. 
  • A second report outlining the progress made, lessons learned, and outstanding needs was completed by October 1, 2018. 
  • The draft recommendations portion of the report above were revised October 24. They were updated based on discussions at the October 17-18 task force meeting.

Public comments were accepted on these draft reports and recommendations and provided to the task force for consideration. 


Upcoming task force meetings

Previous task force meetings 

Informational webinars

Past webinars


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
  • Lisa Lantz, 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
  • Debra Lekanof, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
  • Terry Williams, Tulalip Tribes


Background information

Executive Action Reports

September 19, 2019

June 12, 2019 Reports

RCO Grant Funds

August 22, 2018 Reports

July 31, 2018 Reports

June 14, 2018 Reports

May 31, 2018 Reports

May 1, 2018 Reports