Washington State Governor, Jay Inslee,wants $1.1 billion to help save Puget Sound’s critically endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. The recommendations in his plan closely track those of the governor’s task force for orca recovery, the result of months of work by more than 40 members. Tax increases will be needed to pay for the recovery efforts, as well as other initiatives in Inslee’s proposed biennial budget. His proposals include:
- a 400-yard permanent "go-slow" zone for all vessels within half a nautical mile of SRKW;
- a temporary, three year suspension on all SRKW whale watching;
- converting two of the State's Jumbo Mark II ferries from diesel to hybrid-electric ferries; and
- funds for rule-making that will require tug escorts for barges transporting oil through high risk areas of Puget Sound.