June is Orca Awareness Month: visit www.orcamonth.org learn more!
Keeping with the theme, it is appropriate that the new Washington State Vessel Laws become effective tomorrow, June 12, 2008. Soundwatch has been working closely with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Office and the Washington Parks and Recreation Commission to create and distribute educational materials to inform boaters on the new laws for Southern Resident Orcas. Hot off the press are posters and brochures outlining the state laws as well as an overview of the Endangered Listing Status and State and Federal Laws in the latest edition of the Washington State Parks Adventures in Boating Handbook. Help us spread the news by getting the word out to your family and friends, as well as local marine business and boating groups. I am sending along PDF versions of the posters and brochures that are ready to send, print or post. Here are the new responsibilities for all boaters in Washington State Waters:
GET OFF MY TAIL!
IT'S THE LAW.
In Washington State, it is unlawful to*:
- APPROACH within 100 yards of a killer whale.
- INTERCEPT a killer whale by placing a vessel or allowing a vessel or other object to remain in the path and within 100 yards of a killer whale.
- FAIL TO IMMEDIATELY DISENGAGE a vessel's transmission within 100 yards of a killer whale.
- HARASS any marine mammal.
*Some exemptions apply.
See Wildlife Viewing at WWW.WDFW.WA.GOV for more information.
Boaters are encouraged to follow the Be Whale Wise Guidelines for Marine Wildlife.
Thanks for Being Whale Wise and spreading the word,
Kari Koski and the Soundwatch Crew!
To download a copy of the poster, click here.
To download a copy of the rack card, click here.