Orca Recovery Day – Lessons From Girl Scouts Troop 41706

The Southern Resident Killer Whales of Puget Sound, are struggling. While there are many reasons, lack of awareness and apathy are high on the list. This past November, ten Puget Sound Conservation Districts hosted events across the sound to celebrate, honor, and help orcas. Girl Scout Troop 41706 from Kent showed up to help with KCD’s Orca Recovery Day project on Judd Creek.

But, for Girl Scouts Troop 41706, their work on Orca Recovery Day wasn’t just a one-off good deed. These girls have larger plans for helping orcas and have dedicated a year to orca -related projects in order to receive their badges.

Their main aim is to improve our local waters and improve the killer whale food supply. Towards this goal, they recognize the importance of storytelling to recognize and solve problems. The troop will learn more about orcas by visiting the Whale Museum on San Juan Island. As they learn, they will become more empowered to improve their environment for themselves, wildlife, and their community. An “orca walk” they’re organizing will help the troop earn money to adopt an orca.

Troop leader KC Johnston told KCD that the troop appreciated learning about how blue-barrier tubes could protect newly planted trees from voles. They also learned about Riparian Zones and compared the habitat of Northern and Southern resident orcas. Moving forward they continue to brainstorm ideas for how to help their underwater friends. What was their favorite part? Massaging roots, conducting tug tests, carrying mulch, and the donuts (probably the highlight).

While we look forward to the recommendations from Governor Inslee’s Orca Task Force, we’ve known for some time that the best way to move people to action is personal connection. For troop 41706 getting their hands dirty helped grow that connection to Puget Sound, to orcas, and to restoration efforts. That’s what Orca Recovery Day was about – creating personal connections, region-wide, and giving people the tools and opportunity to take action. Fortunately for the Puget Sound Conservation Districts, there are young leaders gaining knowledge, telling stories, and taking action.

Thank you Troop 41706 for continuing to learn and inspire action to benefit our orca whales! Keep up the great work!

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