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Sep 03

ORCA RECOVERY DAY ECO-CHALLENGE

Posted on September 3, 2020 at 2:23 PM by Allan Warren

Save The Date pg 1All of us could use some good news these days. We were excited to see recently that Tahlequah, a member of the endangered Southern Resident Orca Whales’ J-Pod, is pregnant again. Many of you will remember Tahlequah for a more tragic reason: her 17-day, 1,100- mile tour of grief with her dead calf two years ago. It’s great news to learn she’s pregnant again. However, it’s a long road ahead for that calf to survive and an even longer road to recovery for the Southern Residents. It is more important than ever that we keep up our efforts to recover the Southern Residents.

It was Tahlequah’s heart-wrenching journey that motivated us to create Orca Recovery Day two years ago to give people a way to do something tangible that can make a difference. In two years, that effort has grown from 28 partner organizations to 109, ~800 participants to over 2,500, who helped restore 33-acres of vital habitat last year alone. In the face of COVID-19, we’ve been struggling to figure out how to keep that momentum going. Our challenge has been to find a way for people to stay engaged in this effort, while also staying safe. That’s why we’re excited to be launching an Orca Recovery Day EcoChallenge, which will allow people to join teams, take action in your own backyard or neighborhood, and inspire us all with what our collective impact can be when we take action together.

We’re still in the process of building out the platform, but participants will have a series of categories to choose from like: “Backyard Restoration” or “Daily Actions”, and a list of actions under each category such as: “Plant ___ number of native plants” or “Pick up ___ pounds of trash”. Actions are tallied as points and teams across the region will compete to see who can have the greatest impact. At the end, we’ll be able to share the collective impact of all our actions together.

While COVID-19 has slowed some of the pressures the Southern Residents face, such as stormwater pollution and boat activity, it hasn’t changed the fact that these icons of the Pacific Northwest are still critically endangered. There are actions each of us can take every day to help recover the Southern Residents and our hope is that this year’s Orca Recovery Day EcoChallenge will inspire all of us to keep those actions going through the year. Collectively, we can fix this.

We anticipate launching the platform in mid-September so follow us on Facebook.com/PierceConservationDistrict to keep an eye out for sign ups.

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