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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.

Join us for Ways of Whales in Coupeville

January 25, 2020  •  10:00 AM to 4:30 PM PST

(registration 9:00 to 10:00 AM)

Arrive early to visit educational displays and network while you enjoy coffee and morning snacks.

Coupeville Middle School Performing Arts Center
501 S. Main St.
Coupeville, WA 98239

Ways of Whales 2020 Confirmed Topics and Speakers:

• 9:00 – 10:00 - Sign-In/Registration, Coffee, Displays, Silent Auction

• 10:00 – 10:45 - The Great Salish Sea ~ Dana Lyons
Welcome & Advocacy Updates ~ Susan Berta, Howard Garrett, Cindy Hansen, Orca Network

• 10:45 – 11:45 - Examining New Zealand Leopard Seals: The First Resident Population Outside of Antarctica ~ London Fletcher, Orca Research Trust

• 11:45 – 12:00 - BREAK

• 12:00 – 12:45 - Happy Whale 101 ~ Erin Gless, Island Adventures

• 12:45 – 1:45 - LUNCH ~ in the middle school cafeteria. Network, visit displays in lobby and bid on silent auction items.

• 1:45 – 1:50 - Remembering Connie Bickerton.

• 1:50 – 2:15 - The fight for conception ~ Video footage by John Gussman, Double Click Productions

• 2:15 – 3:15 - Bigg's (Transient) Orcas ~ Monika Wieland Shields, Orca Behavior Institute

• 3:15 – 3:30 - BREAK ~ final chance to bid on silent auction items

• 3:30 – 4:30 - Everybody Loves a Pooping Whale: Whale Feces Can Tell us About Ecosystem Health ~ Dr. Deborah Giles and Eba, Conservation Canines

Join us afterwards for a post-workshop no-host social time, eats and drinks. Details TBA

For registration, ferry schedules, and other information please go to: Ways of Whales 2020 Registration

Many thanks to Kaarina Makowski, who professionally taped and titled, uploaded and provides gratis the entire Ways of Whales Workshop, January 26, 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)

To thank you for your support, volunteer time, whale sightings, and being a part of Orca Network, here is a short video produced by John Gussman to help us all take a look back at the year.

Orca Network Video

2020 Baja Gray Whale Trip
March 7 - 11, 2020

For more about this rewarding and inspirational adventure with the gray whales of San Ignacio Lagoon and how you can join us there, please see: VISIT THE GRAY WHALES OF BAJA WITH ORCA NETWORK IN 2020

On August 24, the South Whidbey Record published an article about the three most recent orca mortalities, J17, K25, and L84: Hope dwindles as resident orcas disappear
That prompted a followup oped for The Record: Efforts rekindle hope for South Resident orcas

August 6, 2019 - Center for Whale Reserch Media Release:
The Southern Resident Killer Whale population has dropped to 73 as of July 1, 2019

We are saddened to report that three adult killer whales (orca) are missing and presumed dead as of July 1, 2019. These whales are from the extremely endangered Southern Resident killer whale population, that historically frequent the Salish Sea almost daily in summer months. Due to the scarcity of suitable Chinook salmon prey, this population of whales now rarely visit the core waters of its designated Critical Habitat: Puget Sound, Georgia Strait, and the inland reach of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The missing whales are J17, K25, and L84.

Dammed to Extinction is an informative, educational, and entertaining film.
This eye-opening documentary explores the burning controversy over how to restore the dammed Snake River, potentially the most productive salmon spawning watershed left in the world, and how we can help Southern Resident orcas find food and survive.
Four obsolete dams choke off access to thousands of miles of wilderness rivers and streams. Removing these unnecessary dams will save money, salmon and orcas.
More Dammed To Extinction screenings HERE.

Toki logo
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 which means “our relations below the waves.”. 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.

Toki portrait
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.

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