Orca Awareness Month, started by long-time orca education and advocacy group Orca Network, was created to bring together researchers, advocates, and orca lovers everywhere to raise the awareness of the threats facing these magnificent animals and provide a community to celebrate orca of the Salish Sea.
In 2017, the Orca Salmon Alliance made the 11th anniversary of Orca Month as big and great as it can be! The Orca Salmon Alliance encourages everyone to take part – Orca Month is for every orca lover out there!
For 11 years, June has been proclaimed Orca Awareness Month by the Governor of Washington, and for the first time in 2016 Orca Awareness Month was being celebrated in Oregon and in British Columbia.
A History of Orca Awareness: 11 Years Strong
2017 marks the 11th year that Washingtonians celebrate orca awareness month. Started over a decade ago by Susan Berta and Howard Garrett of Orca Network, Orca Month raises awareness of endangered Southern Resident orcas and the need to help them recover to a healthy population. The celebration has taken many forms, from orca wine vintage dedications to orca songs, dances, and gubernatorial proclamations.
Coordinated by the Orca Salmon Alliance and partners, we’re hosting events across the Salish Sea and beyond to increase awareness about the threats to the Southern Residents and their primary food source, Chinook salmon.
Members of the Orca Salmon Alliance are:
The Center for Whale Research | Defenders of Wildlife | Earthjustice | Endangered Species Coalition | Natural Resources Defense Council | Oceana | Orca Network | Puget Soundkeeper Alliance | Save Our Wild Salmon | Seattle Aquarium | Sierra Club | Washington Environmental Council | Whale and Dolphin Conservation
Partners for Orca Month 2017 include:
We’d like to recognize the following as supporters of Orca Month 2017:
For Decades, Granny Was the Leader of a Pack of Endangered Orcas. Then One Day, She Disappeared | The Stranger | May 22, 2017
A Comic About Granny the Orca | The Stranger | May 22, 2017
The Sound of Broken Promises | Orca Network | October 6, 2006
World’s Oldest Known Orca Presumed Dead | National Geographic | January 3, 2017
A Message From Ralph Munro
“For more than thirty years, I have watched, and worked to protect, the magnificent orcas of Puget Sound and British Columbia waters. It has been both a happy and sad experience.
On the sad side, I have seen the number of orcas diminish, watched the toxicity levels in their bodies increase, worried about less and less salmon for them to feed on and sometimes wondered if they will even be here for our grandchildren to observe.
Happier memories include seeing growing numbers of people willing to work for protection of whales of all species, an increasing number of whale-related programs such as Orca Network, the Center for Whale Research, Orcalab, etc. And finally, tens of thousands of local citizens who are willing to stand up and shout, “Don’t let our orcas die!”
As we celebrate Orca Month, let each of us recommit our time, talents and treasure to work that insures protection and growth of our orca population. These incredible creatures of the sea need our help. Good luck and Godspeed.”
-Ralph Munro, Triple Creek Farm, Mud Bay, Olympia