Enact legislation to create a half-mile, “go-slow” zone around Southern Resident orcas. Vessels within the zone should not exceed 7 knots.
Coordinate and align regulations among state, federal, and Canadian authorities and provide enforcement, public outreach, and education as needed.
In the 2019 legislative session, the Washington State Legislature and Governor should update Revised Code of Washington 77.15.740 to establish a statewide, “go slow” bubble for small vessels operating within a half nautical mile of Southern Resident orcas. “Go slow” is defined as a 7 knot speed over ground, as measured using a Global Positioning System. It is intended that law enforcement officers will use discretion when enforcing this section and granting exceptions for safety, and will provide public outreach and education when appropriate.
- In 2019, the Legislature revised Revised Code of Washington 77.15.740 to prohibit vessels from exceeding a speed of 7 knots within a half nautical mile of Southern Resident orcas.
- The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission received a one-time payment of $150,000 to train staff and local governments and add regulation information about Southern Resident orcas to its boater education curriculum and testing. Most recreational boaters must pass a test to receive their boater safety card.
More details may be found in the progress reports in the resources library.