SAN JUAN ISLAND, Wash. -- The Pacific Northwest is well aware of the efforts of Ken Balcomb to document, study and protect the resident orca pods. But a new book, War of the Whales, tells the little known story of how Balcomb and another man, Joel Reynolds of the Natural Resources Defense Council, took on the most powerful navy in the world to protect whales and dolphins.
Balcomb and Reynolds faced off with the U.S. Navy over its use of sonar which scientists say can harm and kill sea mammals. How it turns out is better left for the reader.
Balcomb founded the Center for Whale Research on San Juan Island and was recently featured in a KING 5 story for standing up yet again on behalf of the orcas.
This time he challenged the NOAA plan to protect the endangered Southern Resident pods. He said the plan does not pay enough attention to what he believes is the biggest threat to the orcas, the decline of Northwest Chinook salmon stocks.
War of the Whales was released this week and is available on line and in book stores.