Every quarter we donate to One Tree Planted in order to help them plant trees around the world. Those who shopped in our webshop during the the second quarter of 2022 (April 1 - June 30) have contributed to planting 998 trees in North America to help the southern resident Orcas
You might ask: what do trees have in common with Orcas? It all comes down to what they eat!
The southern resident orcas are an endangered species only 75 individuals are left. And they are starving, as their diet consists of only fish, which are disappearing...
PLANTING TREES TO BRING BACK THE CHINOOK SALMON!
Every year, as the orca migrate from Northern California to British Columbia in the South and back again. They rely on the West Coast Chinook salmon for food (nearly 80% of their diet).
Unfortunately, chinook salmon stocks have collapsed over the last 150 years, with just a little more than 1/2 of their historic populations remaining. Planting trees along rivers & streams help conserving vital salmon spawning grounds, decrease water contamination and toxicity. This not only improves salmon survivability, but also improves the quality and quantity of food available to the orca.
THE BENEFIT OF TREES IS UNDENIABLE
Tree planting and restoring riparian zones (the areas where land meets a river or stream) across the Pacific Northwest is a simple and effective solution for protecting salmon stocks and ensuring the orca can rely on chinook salmon for years to come. Planting trees has a number of ecosystem benefits that in turn benefit the salmon and, ultimately, the orca.
Topping that list? Improved water quality: the rivers and streams the salmon populate are filled with pollution. As the salmon feed and grow in these waters, they store pollutants in their tissue until they return to the ocean and are consumed by hungry orcas. Those contaminants are then passed on to the whales, making them more vulnerable to disease and reproductive issues.
Sadly, orcas are one of the most polluted marine mammals in the world. When trees are planted along the banks of the freshwater rivers and streams that form salmon spawning grounds and migration routes, they can help filter out toxins as stormwater runoff seeps through the soil and into water bodies.
This not only improves salmon survivability, but also improves the quality and quantity of food available to the orca
TREES CAN'T DO IT ALL ON THEIR OWN
We know that saving a species from extinction is much more complex than just planting trees. Orca are affected by many other factors (like ship traffic and ocean pollution), so there's no doubt that other steps must be taken to ensure their survival.
That being said, planting trees to restore critical salmon habitat will go a long way towards ensuring that the orca have enough healthy, toxin free food to eat.