Outreach & Education Center
Because we are a very hands-on learning center, we will be closed temporarily to limit the potential spread of illness.
We hope to see you soon.
Hours: Temporarily CLOSED
185 S. First St. Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
Are you experiencing the “no whales blues?”
Well, do we have a remedy for you: VR! Virtual Reality.
We promise it’s practically as good as being there in person.
Stop by the Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island; see Katie Jones, or one of our outstanding volunteers, for your introduction to a world of whales like you’ve never seen before. VR headset on, you will be taken on a whirlwind 5-minute video ride aboard CWR research vessel, Orca, during which field researchers encountered orcas.
One minute the sea in Haro Strait is tranquil under a beautiful sunny sky. Then the T65Bs, T75Bs, and T75Cs arrive.
You see their first surfacing blows, their dorsal fins slicing the calm water surface, and a rare, once-in-a-lifetime moment when these Bigg’s Transients swim around and under the boat!
So much for the “no whales blues.”
The Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center provides everyone with a chance to be immersed in the world of whales. We look forward to your visit.
The mission of the Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center is to educate and give back to the public the information and knowledge that we, and our colleagues, have gathered during 44 years of research of killer whales (orcas) in the waters surrounding the San Juan Islands.
To address a need for effective public outreach, the Center for Whale Research opened the Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, in 2018.
The mission of the Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center is to educate and give back to the public the information and knowledge that CWR, and our colleagues, have gathered during 44 years of research of killer whales (orcas) in the waters surrounding the San Juan Islands.
We are excited to be bringing people and orcas face to face in new and innovative ways. See big-screen video and virtual reality footage of the whales in the wild taken from our research boats and CWR's drones. Enjoy other fun and educational displays. Learn from trained CWR staff and volunteers on hand to answer questions about our beloved local whales.
The Center for Whale Research 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.
The information that we provide at the Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center is free to the public. Becoming a member or making a donation to the non-profit Center for Whale Research supports our on-going research and advocacy efforts. Your financial contributions are much appreciated.
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.
Merci beaucoup pour le soutien de la France!
YouTube producers Morgane (Little Gypsy) and Lea presented Ken Balcomb and the Center For Whale Research with a donation as a result of their successful #WeAreTheOrca crowdfunding campaign in France. The funds raised for CWR will go directly towards continued research. We are extremely grateful to Morgane, Lea and all of their supporters in France that care about helping the endangered resident whales. Merci! See YouTube video
The #WeAreTheOrca team from France launched a new bracelet today to raise awareness and funds for the Center for Whale Research, as well as two other regional organizations supporting the Southern Resident Killer Whales and Chinook Salmon.
With the sale of each bracelet, #WeAreTheOrca donates 3 euros (approx. $3.40 US) to CWR for continued research on the Southern Resident Killer Whales, as well as 3 euros each to Alexandra Morten project and The Whale Museum. The bracelets are made in France with sustainable products by people with disabilities.
Here is the link to order:
The Center For Whale Research team members are proudly wearing their bracelets. As Morgane Trussardi, founder of #wearetheorca stated, “We will all be linked ❤️”
It was a fun and educational weekend at the Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center!
October 20, 2018
Girl Scout Troops from Bellevue/Eastside, along with their families, visited San Juan Island to learn more about Southern Resident Killer Whales and ways that they can help the endangered orcas. Katie Jones, Outreach & Education Manager presented the group with fascinating information which was well received triggering engaging questions, responses, and brainstorming by troop members ages 6 -12. The troops then participated in hands on activities with staff and volunteers, learning more about salmon, orcas, and the Salish Sea. We are very proud of these young ambassadors that are so eager to help improve conditions for Southern Resident Whales. Thank you for your dedication.
It was a great evening. Thank you, Astrid, for sharing your wonderful stories.
Dr. Astrid van Ginneken has worked with the Center for Whale Research since 1987. She is co-principle investigator for CWR's Orca Survey and has published both scientific and popular articles in addition to a book about killer whales. Astrid has great enthusiasm for Southern Resident orcas and her stories about these wonderful creatures are beautifully told.
A few images from our recent Grand Opening, August 21, 2018.