Port of Seattle and Center for Biological Diversity Reach Agreement on Project for Orca Conservation

SEATTLE, Wash. δΈ€ On Nov. 16, the Port of Seattle and the Center for Biological Diversity reached a legal agreement resolving a Center lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association Fisheries that sought additional environmental considerations for a dredging project that could affect 73 resident orcas. This particular population of orcas is an endangered population that ranges from southeast Alaska to central California and lives part of the year in the Salish Sea. The lawsuit was filed against federal agencies, but the port, a local sponsor of the Seattle Harbor Navigation Improvement Project, intervened to ensure the completion of the project. The new includes funding for several environmental programs and habitat improvement. The port has committed to continuing its participation in the multi-party Quiet Sound Program, an effort to provide greater protection to the Southern Resident killer whale community from ship-induced noise and disturbance. The port will also expand the funding of shoreline restoration at Terminal 108 and conduct a monitoring study of acoustic impacts from dredging at a planned Terminal 18 maintenance dredging project. The agreement is valued at approximately $640,000.

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