Submitted by Senate Democrats
Sen. Liz Lovelett, D-Anacortes, introduced bills supporting stewardship of the San Juan Islands’ and orca protection on Feb. 15.
SB 5919 would create a specialty license plate that represents and supports the San Juan Islands’ stewardship programs.
In September 2018, San Juan Island artist Nancy Spaulding’s painting “Evening Passage” won a community design contest for the proposed special license plate. Income from the special plates sales will be used to support stewardship programs and projects in the islands, including the San Juan Islands Youth Conservation Corps (the only middle school conservation corps in the state), the Coast Salish Youth Stewardship Corps, as well as other conservation stewardship projects focused on the natural, agricultural, historic and cultural heritage of the San Juan Archipelago.
“The communities of the San Juan Islands know the special treasure they have in northern Puget Sound,” Lovelett said. “Residents old and new have worked together to protect this unique place in Washington state. It’s wonderful that we can recognize and support the work done to protect our forestland, shorelines, and plant and animal habitat.”
Additionally, she introduced legislation to include recreational whale watching education in the state’s boating safety program.
“We must do what we can to protect our beloved orca in the Puget Sound,” said Lovelett. “Senate Bill 5919 is one part of a package to help them. Common-sense education will ensure boaters give orcas the adequate amount of space to hunt, feed and — hopefully — regain the robust health they need to be able to raise more calves in Puget Sound.”