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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.


The recording of Orca Network's 2022 Ways of Whales Workshop - January 15, 2022 - will be available soon.

We are excited to be celebrating 20 years of connecting whales and people in the Pacific NW, and without YOU, there would be no NETWORK in Orca Network! Thanks for all you do to help us help the whales, and for joining in to help us celebrate 20 years together!


Meet Katie Watkins, Assistant Manager for Orca Network's Langley Whale Center! Katie talks about the changes for us all during the COVID 19 pandemic, and how we can stay in touch to carry on our educational services in these changing times. She shares some great ideas for families and whale lovers wanting to stay involved with the whales, the Whale Center, and Orca Network ~ thanks Katie!
The Langley Whale Center virtual tour.

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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


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.


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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.

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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.




A
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.

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