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Orca Network

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Arts & Culture, Marine Science & Oceanography, Natural History & Natural Science Museums, Technology, Wildlife Preservation & Protection

Mission: Orca Network is dedicated to raising awareness of the whales of the Pacific Northwest, and the importance of providing them healthy and safe habitats.

Results: Over the past 15 years, Orca Network's Whale Sighting Network has grown from several hundred participants to 13,500 subscribers to our whale reports, and our Facebook page has grown to nearly 130,000 likes, with most of those active users. In 2001, we collected and shared 710 whale sightings reports; in 2010 it had grown to 2621 reports and continues to grow. These reports enable people to learn about the whales of the Pacific NW, and enable them to get to the shorelines to watch as they pass by. And most importantly, the sightings data is shared with researchers up and down the Pacific Coast, adding important data to studies being done to protect the Endangered Southern Resident orcas, humpbacks, Gray whales and other cetaceans. Orca Network has also been actively engaged in efforts to keep orcas out of captivity, with our focus on Lolita, or Tokitae, the L pod/Southern Resident orca captured off Whidbey Island in 1970, living in the smallest tank in the country at the Miami Seaquarium ever since. Orca Network also oversees the Central Puget Sound Marine Mammal Stranding Network, responding to hundreds of calls about stranded or dead marine mammals, conducting necropsies and testing to determine cause of death, which helps researchers understand the health of our marine mammals and ocean ecosystems. We also conduct countless hours of education at the Coupeville Wharf, events, and on the beach, especially during seal pup season. Our newest project is the Langley Whale Center, in Langley, Whidbey Island, WA, open 11 am - 5 pm Thurs - Sunday - come visit us and learn about the whales and marine mammals of the Salish Sea!

Programs: Projects include our popular Whale Sighting Network, educational programs and materials, the Free Lolita project and the Central Puget Sound Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 jillhein


Rating: 5

Orca Network provides excellent educational information on the whales that inhabit our immediate marine environment. We have endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales frequenting our waters, and Orca Network alerts us to their presence, and points us to amazing research work done by many organizations on the problems these Killer Whales are facing - one of which is lack of their main food source, chinook salmon. Orca Network is also a sighting network, collecting information on whales in our vicinity and alerting the researchers who need to locate and document the whale populations, feeding behavior, photo ID'ing which pods are here, and more. We also have Eastern Pacific Gray Whales in our neighborhood, and a few Humpback and Minke whales. Orca Network is also the headquarters for the Central Puget Sound Marine Mammal Stranding Network, which covers a good portion of 3 counties in Puget Sound, organizing necropsies on Harbor seals and Porpoises, Steller and California sea lions, and Gray whales. Orca Network also works alongside many research organizations, ON is the "go-to" for all things 'whale'.



Rating: 5

The Orca Network has been monitoring the Southern Resident and Transient orcas of the Salish Sea (from Puget Sound to the Straits of Georgia, Canada) for over 40 years. They have helped create an identification system for the orcas. They share observations and sightings with the public via the Inteernet daily, sometimes on almost an hourly basis, hold educational workshops, share calls heard on hydrophones, etc. I believe the most important work they have/are doing is in the research field; they collect data which is then shared with governmental agencies (NOAA) and other research organizations. This has already led to changes in laws to help protect these endangered species, and may possibly contribute to further changes in statutes that will affect the entire nation.

1 Sandy18


Rating: 5

Orca Network, based on Whidbey Island, Washington State, aims to promote awareness of whales and environmental issues concerning them through educational workshops and other social networking media. Their sightings organization enables not only people to see whales from shore, but also advises researchers of the whales' whereabouts so that valuable information can be obtained through specimens and photo identification. Orca Network's approach to helping the public learn more about whales and raising awareness of the fragile status of the endangered southern resident killer whales, is educational yet friendly. Orca Network's workshops and presentations are always first rate, introducing a wide variety of knowledgeable presenters. To be a volunteer with them is a pleasure - they make a person feel valued and of worth in helping with any aspect of the organization. Many people have had their first sighting of a whale through this network, and as anyone knows, seeing a whale for the first time is a life-changing experience - for the better. More people then become ambassadors for the whales.