(L to R) Tamara Shea Kelley, Michael Harris, Jackie Woods, Dr. David Bain, Shari Tarantino (not pictured, Brian Calvert).
Orca Conservancy is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) Washington State non-profit organization working on behalf of Orcinus orca, the killer whale, and protecting the wild places on which it depends.
Orca Conservancy collaborates with some of the world’s top research institutions and environmental groups to address the most critical issues now facing wild orcas.
The organization’s urgent attention is on the endangered Southern Resident orcas of Puget Sound. These three pods, J-Pod, K-Pod and L-Pod, were decimated by the depletion of prey resources, the accumulation of marine toxins, and the destruction of salmon spawning and nearshore habitats, the nurseries of the Salish Sea.
They continue to reel from the effects of the brutal orca capture era of the 1960s and ’70s, where some 57 whales were removed from the Southern and Northern Resident populations and sent to marine parks. They risk being wiped out by a catastrophic oil spill in the Salish Sea, or getting caught in the crossfire of military exercises. And they’re potentially threatened by vessels, particularly private boats not following guidelines established by the Pacific Whale Watch Association.
The organization’s people are leaders in safeguarding critical habitats, advocating creative oil-spill prevention and response measures, establishing better protocols for the Navy to protect sensitive marine life, and in working with whale watchers and scientists to create effective new guidelines for wildlife encounters.
Orca Conservancy is committed to the welfare of all whales and dolphins, and is an authoritative source for information on captive cetaceans and on-going studies on the feasibility of returning these remarkable animals to the wild.