Orca Billboards

Get the FACTS

If you are driving on the I-5 between Seattle and Tacoma you may notice a couple of digital billboards with important messages about our Southern Resident Orcas.

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.

43 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 ...

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SUPPORT our efforts

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. 

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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.

© 2019 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. 

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