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Lummi Tribe’s efforts to save orcas include ending Navy tests

SEATTLE — Members of the Lummi Tribe, along with activists and scientists, launched the Salish Sea Campaign this weekend to save the southern resident orcas and restore their home.

KCPQ-TV reports the campaign calls for an impact study on stressors to the Salish Sea caused by humans. It also wants to end to new stressors like Navy underwater weapons tests until the Salish Sea is healthier.

Southern Resident killer whale J50 and her mother, J16, swim off the west coast of Vancouver Island near Port Renfrew, B.C. on Aug. 7. Teams searched Thursday for the sick, critically endangered orca in the waters of Washington state and Canada, but a scientist who closely tracks the population in the Pacific Northwest said he believes the whale, known as J50, has died. (Brian Gisborne/Fisheries and Oceans Canada via AP)
Coast Guard had searched for the young killer whale

A Coast Guard helicopter, 10 vessels, whale watch crews and other teams on both sides of the border were involved in the search.

The tribe says it will measure the sea’s health by the number of salmon using 1985 levels as a baseline.

Lummi Nation elder Raynell Morris says, "Our relatives under the sea are telling us they need help."

The Lummi Nation’s plan to bring back Lolita the orca was also showcased. The killer whale was captured off Puget Sound in 1970 and taken into captivity.

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