“There is no more important issue facing the future survival of J, K, and L pods than ensuring that they have enough salmon to survive and reproduce. Restoration of the Snake River system to normative flow is essential for this to happen on a scale that is meaningful for the salmon and the whales, and for the fishermen.”
– Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research, Founder and Senior Scientist
The Center for Whale Research has studied orca whales for over 44years. The non-profit organization emphasizes that the primary threat facing the Southern Resident orcas is a lack of food security. They require a constant diet of healthy Chinook salmon. In our face-to-face discussions at the Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center and our other communication efforts, we stress that a sustainable source of their main food – quantity and quality of Chinook salmon – is critical to the whales’ survival.
We encourage everyone to learn as much as they can about the plight of the Southern Resident orca population, now at an all-time low of 73 whales. With your new knowledge, we ask you to speak out on their behalf. The Center for Whale Research is standing with you, speak out loudly and clearly for the powers that be to do what is necessary to ensure these whales live long into the future.
During the summer FOLKS naturalist and Center for Whale Research volunteers can be seen diligently watching for and studying the orca whales swimming by Lime Kiln Lighthouse. They record information about habits, observe weight and other health markers, watch for babies, count the number of whales in a particular location and keep a watchful eye on boat activity near the whales. You can learn from trained staff and volunteers often in the park and on hand to answer questions about our beloved local whales. So you may wish to stop and chat with the people with binoculars and identification charts to gather information that furthers your knowledge of whales and the Salish Sea habitat.