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Jun 05

PCD Celebrates Orca Month with Orca Recovery Day Banner Installation

Posted to Conservation Corner by Marlie Sloan

The colorful Orca Recovery Day banner is now displayed in our office in honor of Orca Month in June!
The colorful Orca Recovery Day banner is now displayed in our office in honor of Orca Month in June!

Did you know that June is Orca Month? For more than 15 years, people around the Pacific Northwest have celebrated, taken action, and raised awareness around orcas in our region during the month of June.

This Orca Month, we are celebrating the on-going work to recover our endangered Southern Resident Orcas by displaying the banner created at our Orca Recovery Day event last October. The banner will be on display at our offices in Puyallup from May 22-July 1, 2023.

This banner was painted by over 50 participants at an event at the Tacoma DeMolay Sandspit Nature Preserve on Fox Island, WA in October 2022. Participants included several families from the Curious by Nature outdoor preschool in Gig Harbor, WA, members of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, staff and volunteers from Pierce Conservation District, and Fox Island community members. Participants at this event also worked on maintenance on a riparian planting project installed to improve forage fish habitat on the beach at the preserve. Forage fish are an important food source for salmon, including Chinook salmon, the preferred prey of the endangered Southern Resident Orcas who are the subject of Orca Recovery Day. 

History of Orca Recovery Day 

In 2018, the world watched as Tahlequah, a Southern Resident Killer Whale, carried her dead calf for 17 days, traveling almost 1,000 miles off the Pacific Northwest coast before letting go. Tahlequah isn’t the first grieving orca mother- unfortunately, hers was one of many calf deaths across the past two decades. According to the Center for Whale Research, approximately 75 percent of newborns in the Southern Resident killer whale population have not survived.

In response to Tahlequah’s image of grief and the increasing need to help our orcas, Orca Recovery Day was created Washington conservation districts, an intentional day of action to restore habitat, reduce stormwater pollution, and educate the public about things they can do every day to help one of the most iconic species of the Pacific Northwest.

Because when it comes to the fight for our orcas, just like this collaborative banner, we all have something to bring to the table. 

There is still so much work to do, but we want to take a moment to celebrate the people who work day after day and year after year on recovering these iconic orcas and the ecosystems they depend on. Recovered salmon runs and a healthy Puget Sound not only supports orcas but creates a better ecosystem for us all.    

Painting the entire 6x10 foot banner took teamwork, with some kids climbing up on the table to paint
Painting the entire 6x10 foot banner took teamwork, with some kids climbing up on the table to paint.


Volunteers, including children and adults, painted the Orca Recovery Day banner at PCD’s 2022 event.
Volunteers, including children and adults, painted the Orca Recovery Day banner at PCD’s 2022 event.


Staff standing next to the banner, right at Orca eye level.
Staff standing next to the banner, right at Orca eye level.
Sep 27

Students (and Salmon) Return to Hatchery

Posted to Environmental Education by Gracie DeMeo

The PCD education team is gearing up for another busy fall season! This year, every 4th grade class in the Puyallup School District will visit the Puyallup Hatchery for a field trip. PCD is partnering with the Puyallup Historical Hatchery Foundation to make this happen. The students will get to tour the hatchery, see eggs and alevin up close, and view spawning salmon in Clarks Creek. We're also excited because this is the first program our new volunteer docents will help with! These docents will help us reach more students and get more kids outside to learn about the environment. Visit our Volunteer Docent Program to learn more about this fun new opportunity to get involved with PCD.

A person with a PCD hat on points at a map of Puget Sound, showing salmon routes to 4th graders.

PCD AmeriCorps Member Maddie Snook shows salmon migration routes to 4th graders.
Jul 07

New workshop for Puget Sound waterfront homeowners: "Living with Sea Level Rise"

Posted to Habitat Improvement by Mary Krauszer

Shore Friendly technical assistance to shoreline landowners on Key Peninsula Shoreline landowners in the Key Peninsula receive technical assistance from the Shore Friendly Pierce program.

The Shore Friendly Pierce program provides technical and financial assistance to marine shoreline homeowners and landowners stewarding their properties with practices that benefit the health of Puget Sound. 

One challenge facing waterfront homeowners is adapting to sea level rise in the Puget Sound. Our newest workshop, presented by Andrea MacLennan from Herrera Environmental and Jeff McCord from Nickel Bros, will focus on the drivers and impacts of coastal erosion, how sea level rise can intensify erosion, and strategies and adaptations to prepare for future conditions. 

Workshop content will be split between two evening sessions on August 16, 5:00-7:00 pm and August 17, 5:00-7:00 pm. We recommend waterfront homeowners attend both sessions.

The workshop will be hosted on Zoom. Pre-registration is required: https://zfrmz.com/Q02PUBK25eVyAIZ8iW20