For weeks this summer, the whole World watched the heartbreaking daily drama of a mother Orca bearing her dead calf on her nose.
Few though realize that calf represents more than merely a mother’s profound grief for the life of a child lost, but also serves as bellwether for a population on the brink of collapse.
The Southern Resident Orca of the Salish Sea are in desperate straits. Squeezed between the pressures of multiple industry needs and the undersea cacophony of the increasingly hectic human presence on the surface, the whales are starving before our eyes. The Canadian Orca Rescue Society is determined to forestall that eventuality, but they can’t do it alone.
So, they’ve launched an Orca Food Drive to fund the Four Mile Creek Hatchery in Port Renfrew.
Since its inception, the hatchery has, with help from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, released more than 40 million Chinook Salmon, the Orca’s primary food, into the San Juan River; but the DFO has now cut them loose.
Gregg McElroy is with the Canadian Orca Rescue Society. The long-time environmental frontline activist says something must be done, and done now to save the Southern Resident Orca and their habitat.
Gregg McElroy in the first half.
And; summer forest fires may be usual here, but for those who’ve lived in British Columbia any length of time, these last few years are certainly not normal. Smoke, following the pipeline route from “Pacific tide-water” all the way back across the Rockies to Tar Sands HQ in Calgary is the hallmark of this year’s season, and may be the name of every one from now on. The more mystic of us may interpret the choking haze as an ominous sign; a warning we incessant burners of oil, gas, coal, and wood ignore to our peril.
Dr. Stephanie von Dehn is with the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. CAPE has been at the fore of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain debate, its members putting themselves on the line at the frontlines of blockades meant to stop the pipeline expansion.
Stephanie was herself arrested last May, the very day our federal government announced it would buy out Kinder Morgan and promised completion of the contentious project. Today, as the cities and towns across the western reaches of the continent lay under a smoky pall, the climate change connections have surely become too apparent to deny; or have they?
Dr. Stephanie von Dehn and dark days come to B.C. in the second half.
And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to get up to in and around our town for the coming week. But first, Gregg McElroy and whales for the feeding.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/