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Breaking: We’re suing to protect endangered orcas
September 5, 2018
Southern Resident killer whales

Dear Sandra,

We’re going back to court to protect the Southern Residents.

Last week, we celebrated the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision to quash the federal government’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline project.

The ruling is good news for Southern Resident killer whales facing imminent threats to their survival and recovery. Just 75 of these iconic whales remain, including J-35 — the orca also known as Tahlequah — whose 17-day display of grief over her dead calf made headlines around the world.

But with a federal government that has vowed to get the Trans Mountain expansion built, we know that any respite last week’s ruling offers the whales may be short-lived.

That’s why we’re using the most powerful tool at our disposal, the law, to expedite efforts to give the orcas a fighting chance. A few hours ago, Ecojustice launched a lawsuit to secure an emergency order to protect the Southern Residents.

Thanks in part to the thousands of letters Ecojustice supporters like you sent the federal government this spring, it has already formally acknowledged that the Southern Residents face imminent threats to their survival and recovery. This admission triggers a legal obligation to recommend an emergency order. Without this order, it is very likely these orcas will continue to decline — and even go extinct.

In this case the law is clear. The government says the orcas face imminent threats. By law, the federal fisheries and environment minsters must recommend that Cabinet issue an emergency order to protect the Southern Residents from those threats.

The government may choose to ignore the law, but as the Trans Mountain ruling demonstrates, it does so at its own peril.

For nearly 30 years, Ecojustice has used the power of the law to defend nature. Every time we’ve taken the government to court to protect endangered orcas, we’ve won. And every step of the way, your support has kept us going. 

Now, we’re hoping we can count on you to help us secure another victory for the whales.

Please consider making a special gift today to send Ecojustice lawyers to back court to defend endangered orcas. 

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Sincerely,

Devon Page.jpg

Dyna Tuytel, Lawyer

Photo of J50 and family by NOAA Fisheries West Coast via CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

 
 

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