Swimming the waters of the Salish Sea, the culturally unique, salmon eating southern resident orcas travel in small groups with the members of their pod, or family group. But, occasionally, the orcas gather into a Super Pod – an amazing, celebratory gathering with many or all of the members of J, K and L Pods. These joyful social events have become more rare as salmon populations decline.

Like the southern residents forming a Super Pod, we humans must come together to call for change, including the removal of the Lower Snake River dams, to increase salmon populations.

You can be part of the Super Pod through the purchase of our newest Bonfire shirt, featuring the orca Oreo (J-22), by Artist Gabriel Newton. By purchasing a shirt, you will support the work of Endangered Species Coalition for southern resident orca and salmon conservation. This shirt will only be available through July 15th 2024, during Orca Month.

Gabriel Newton recently completed paintings of the 74 remaining southern resident orcas to raise awareness of the urgent need to protect the orca, by taking actions including removing Lower Snake River Dams. Gabriel’s acrylic paintings are on found wood gathered from the shores of the Salish Sea, home of our beloved Southern Residents. The entire collection of paintings will be on display at the A/NT Gallery at Seattle Center from July 30th – August 22nd, with the show opening August 1st.

“I felt moved to paint J-22 and the rest of the southern resident orcas so that people would know and relate to them as individuals, as well as members of the Superpod, all trying to survive in very challenging circumstances.” -Artist Gabriel Newton

The orca featured on Gabriel’s shirt design is Oreo (J-22), a female orca in J-Pod, who is the mother of two males: DoubleStuf (J-34) who passed away in 2016, and Cookie (J-38), born in 2000 and an adult orca today. These family relationships are central to southern resident orca matrilineal (society based on the mother) culture, and demonstrate how orca form deep, lifelong family bonds.

The culturally unique and critically endangered southern resident orcas are fish eating orcas, who primarily rely on Chinook salmon, a protected fish species. Recent reports from Washington State’s Governor Jay Inslee, Senator Patty Murray, NOAA, the Biden Administration and the US Army Corps of Engineers all indicate that it is both possible and necessary to remove the Lower Snake River dams.

 

Your purchase of the SUPERPOD Bonfire shirt will help Endangered Species Coalition’s continued work to remove the Lower Snake River dams and act to protect southern resident orcas and Chinook salmon. Thank you for your support, for our southern resident orcas!

With appreciation,

Jeanne Dodds

 

Creative Engagement Director

Endangered Species Coalition

P.S. Are the links not working? Please see the Bonfire campaign at this URL: https://www.bonfire.com/superpod-esc

 

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