Orca Network is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of the whales of the Pacific Northwest, and the importance of providing them healthy and safe habitats.
Don't miss the annual "Welcome the Whales Festival and Parade" in Langley to honor and celebrate the arrival of gray whales to Whidbey Island. Welcome the Whales Festival is sponsored by Orca Network and the Langley Chamber of Commerce.
Saturday April 13th, 11 am at the Langley United Methodist Church (3rd/Anthes) will be hands-on educational displays, costume-making, face painting, and children’s activities, followed by the Whale and Critter Parade in downtown Langley, beginning at 1:30 pm at the US Bank parking lot (2nd/Anthes). The parade will end at the Waterfront "Whale Bell" Park on First St. with a blessing for the whales, music, and celebration on the beach, while watching for Gray whales in Saratoga Passage. The Langley Whale Center at 105 Anthes will be open from 11 am - 5 pm, with special activities and displays about Gray whales and staffed by Orca Network/Whale Center docents.
In the afternoon presentations will begin at 3 pm back at the Langley Methodist Church - presentations TBA.
Sunday, April 14th – Help protect important gray whale feeding habitat and join us for a Langley beach cleanup from 10 am to 12 pm. Then browse the Langley Whale Center's Exhibits, displays and gift shop from 11 am to 5 pm.
In the afternoon from 3 to 5 pm take to the water to see the Gray whales, on Orca Network's Gray Whale Fundraising Cruise. Click HERE to register
for the Sunday afternoon Gray Whale cruise.
Please contact Cindy Hansen
for more information about Welcome the Whales weekend.
Many thanks to Kaarina Makowski, who professionally taped and titled, uploaded and provides gratis the entire Ways of Whales Workshop 2019, start to finish. Kaarina put all the talks, and Dana's song, on a central link we can keep coming back to. Enjoy: Ways of Whales (2019)
The Southern Resident orca population is now 75!
January 11, 2019 - Baby L124, the youngest living So. Resident orca, friskily following L25 Ocean Sun, about 90 years old and the oldest living orca in the Southern Resident population. The new baby's mom is 32-year old L77 Matia. Photo by David Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research.
Our Sacred Sea
Lummi Nation has been called to bring Lolita, a killer whale stolen from the Salish Sea in 1970, back home. Lolita, also called Tokitae, has been held at the Miami Seaquarium for the past 47 years. The Lummi word for killer whale is qwe lhol mechen, meaning, the people under the sea. We consider blackfish to be our kin, and we consider families to be sacred. It is our duty to bring Tokitae home. Moreover, Tokitae is an ambassador for the Salish Sea. The Salish Sea is our sacred sea, and it is our obligation to help protect and restore the ecosystems, cultures, and communities of this place.
Tokitae Totem Journey across America to Miami itinerary - May 9-27
Find the latest news on the campaign and the rehabilitation and retirement plan to
return Tokitae/Lolita to her home waters.
Snake River wild chinook - so crucial for the survival of Southern Resident orcas - are in severe decline. The quickest way to bring back abundant runs is described in a new white paper on Columbia basin chinook, called The Case for Breaching the Four Lower Snake River Dams to Recover Wild Snake River Salmon.
Puget Sound Land-Based
Whale Sighting View Points
The Southern Resident orcas often forage in Puget Sound during fall months in search of chum salmon, and mammal-eating Transient orcas, or Bigg's Killer Whales, may visit in search of seals, sea lions and porpoises any time of year. To help observers find good locations to view the whales Orca Network has assembled the best viewing spots between Anacortes and Olympia into a google map that can be zoomed in to find directions to each beach, roadside, or bluff for optimum viewing. If you live near Puget Sound, Possession Sound, Saratoga Passage, Hood Canal, Admiralty Inlet, or Fidalgo Island, you can find the best whale-watching spots near you by clicking HERE.
The Langley Whale Center opened March 1, 2014.
Check out the Langley Whale Center Facebook page.
n extended clan of Orcinus orca
, or orcas, socialize and forage in the inland waters of Washington State and British Columbia. Both male and female offspring remain with their mothers their entire lives
. No other species, and not all orca communities, show lifetime association of mothers with both male and female offspring. Cultural traditions
such as lifetime family bonding allow distinct vocal repertoires and complex social systems to develop within each pod and community, unlike any other mammal except humans
. Their dialects are similar to human language groups, and assure them a place in their society. Known as the Southern Resident Orca community, or the Salish Sea Orcas, they move gracefully just downstream from an increasingly urban landscape.
Worldwide field studies are now showing that there are several dozen orca communities distributed throughout marine habitats, each with its own vocal repertoire, its own specialized diet, its own hunting methods and social systems, and each is genetically distinct from all the others. We are on the verge of recognition by the scientific community that orcas can be considered as nomadic foraging tribes, living according to traditions passed down generation after generation, for many thousands of years.
But all is not well. Orcas need clean, uncontaminated water and plentiful fish. Chinook salmon, the Salish Sea orcas' main food source, are in historic decline throughout the region. Habitat degradation, industrial poisons such as PCBs, PBDEs and other impacts of human activities are taking their toll on the orcas we have come to know and love. We are all intricately connected, from tiny plankton to forage fish, salmon, orcas, tall firs and cedars, mountains, rivers and the ocean. It is time to reflect, to reconnect, and to respond as better caretakers of our planet.
Looking for an informative and readable essay on the natural history of orcas?
Go to Orcas of the Salish Sea.
How long do orcas live? For a discussion of orca lifespans, please see Orca Lifespans.