STATEMENT: Mayor Durkan Applauds City Council for Approving Her Resolution Protesting Proposed U.S. Navy Air & Water Training Exercises That Could Endanger Southern Resident Orca Whales

SEATTLE (August 5, 2019) – Mayor Jenny Durkan today applauded City Council for its 9 – 0 vote to approve her resolution protesting proposed testing and training by the United States Navy that could endanger Southern resident orca whales and other marine mammals in the Puget Sound through the use of sonar:  

“Orcas have lived in this region for at least 5,000 years. Orcas are part of our Coast Salish people, our cultural identity, our fishing economy, and our tourism industry,” said Mayor Durkan. “But Washington’s Southern resident orcas face a dismal fate due to diminished salmon, toxic contaminants, and disturbance from noise and vessel traffic. Even the loss of one single orca would greatly undermine decades of recovery efforts—and even make it impossible. I applaud the Council for joining me in calling on the U.S. Navy to do their part to keep our waters healthy and safe for all sea life in the Puget Sound.” 

In June, Mayor Durkan filed a letter of protest today on behalf of the City of Seattle in response to the United States Navy’s Draft Northwest Training and Testing Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The full letter submitted as a public comment on the Navy’s EIS can be found here

The full text of the resolution can be found here