Southern Resident ORCAS

Your support makes our work possible. And our work is far from over! We need your financial gifts to continue our studies, to advise governments on their critical environmental choices, to educate as many people as possible about the plight of the Southern Resident orcas, and to speak out loudly on the whales’ behalf. 
Your support will make a difference.

Thank you

The Center for Whale Research (CWR) is dedicated to the study and conservation of the Southern Resident killer whale (orca) population in the Pacific Northwest.

Lower Snake River dam

In his February 19 story for Daily Kos, American freelance journalist and blogger David Neiwert wrote: "Oregon politicians have long been the region’s sole champions of salmon recovery, even though Washington’s Democratic politicians have typically paid lip service to the cause, while pulling political strings that directly undermine it. Brown’s letter marks her as the first leading politician in the region to stand up to this kind of chicanery." Read the entire story: Oregon Democratic governor in upstream fight against Republicans and Democrats over dam removal.


Governor Kate Brown

Oregon Governor Kate Brown, sent a letter to Washington State Governor Jay Inslee this week, offering her support for removing the Snake River dams.

On behalf of CWR and our 2,000+ members, we would like to thank Governor Brown for her bravery to advocate a discussion to fact-find and solve the salmon problem in the Snake River dam issue.

Please let Governor Brown know we support her actions. Here is a link to Governor Brown’s website that makes it simple to thank her. Link

Excert from February 11, 2020 letter.

"The science is clear that removing the earthen portions of the four lower Snake River dams is the most certain and robust solution to Snake River salmon and steelhead recovery. No other action has the potential to improve overall survival two-to three-fold and simultaneously address both the orca and salmon recovery dilemma while providing certainty in the legal challenge that has complicated operations for decades. This option would likely provide a dramatic increase in salmon available for orca forage, particularly during the late winter when vulnerable gestating orcas may be foraging off the mouth of the Columbia River."

44 years of RESEARCH



One of the most commonly asked questions we get these days is: "What can I do to help?" We've included a variety of options for your consideration. Thank you for caring about the Southern Resident orcas and all the other species that inhabit the waters of the Pacific Northwest ...

Read more

SUPPORT our efforts

Orca Survey

Outreach & Education Center

Become immersed in the world of whales through our interactive displays. Watch amazing videos and listen to the whales vocalize underwater. Big screen video footage of the whales in the wild as experienced from our research boats. Come meet the natualists and researchers, they'll share their knowledge of the magnificent whales of the Salish Sea.

185 S. First St., Friday Harbor, San Juan Island WA 98250

Hours: Open 7 days a week 10:00-5:00

recent on the water


An Encounter refers to any time we observe killer whales (orcas), from one of our research boats or land, where at least one individual is identified and photographed. Typically, 2-4 staff are involved in an encounter. Once we come into contact with whales (ie. within distance of identifying individuals by sight) we have begun our encounter. During an encounter, our main goal is to photograph every individual present from both the left and right side.   



we CAN help

Together we CAN help
Become a CWR Member or make a DONATION

The Center for Whale Research has been studying these amazing whales since 1976 but our work is far from over. We need your help to continue our studies, and to speak out on the Southern Resident orcas behalf.

© 2020 Center for Whale Research

The Center for Whale Research is a 501c3 nonprofit organization registered in Washington State.

All rights reserved. No part of the material found on this website may be reproduced or utilized in any form, or by any means, without the prior written consent of the Center for Whale Research.  All members of CWR are non-voting members. 

  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle