June is Orca Awareness Month!
J,K,and L pods returning to the Salish Sea in early June, 2008- Photo by Erin Heydenreich
This June marks the 10th annual Orca Awareness Month! The month long celebration of the local orcas was started by Susan Berta and Howard Garrett of the Orca Network in 2006.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared it officially in 2013. For the month of June we area asking folks to focus your attention on the plight of the endangered Southern Resident’s. During this month regional organizations will collaborate to educate the public and honor the whale’s presence in the waters of Washington State. For those of us who live in Washington, it's easy to forget just how lucky we are to have the Southern Residents as our neighbors.
Speaking of Neighbors, for the first time this year, Orca Awareness Month will be celebrated in both Oregon and British Columbia as well as in Washington. The focus of this year’s events will be increasing the awareness of the importance of Chinook salmon for the survival of the Southern Residents. This year’s Orca Month Sponsors are: The Orca Network and the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation. The Orca Month partners include the Orca Salmon Alliance, the Whale Museum, Save our Wild Salmon and the Center for Whale Research.
In addition to attending and sponsoring several of the events, The Center for Whale Research is offering a month of giveaways on our social media accounts. This week we are giving away a brand new 2016 Southern Resident ID Guide. Follow us on Instagram for a chance to win!
Saturday, June 4th, 5:30 pm - Dana Lyons Concert, with Audri Cooke - at Langley Whale Center, 115 Anthes, Langley WA. | $10 suggested donation
Sunday, June 5, 2-5pm - Orca Month Kickoff Celebration and Baby Orca Birthday Bash - at Alki Beach Bathhouse in West Seattle. A free family-fun event with orca birthday cakes, MC'd by investigative journalist and Pres. of the Society of Environmental Journalists Jeff Burnside, live music by Dana Lyons, face painting, orca fort, orca fin making, orca bingo by Whale Trail, Mike the orca, inflatable salmon & more. | Free
Sunday June 5, 11-5pm - World Oceans Day at the Wharf in Victoria, B.C. A day to celebrate the oceans that surround us, educate people of the diversity of marine life, and show how making small changes in our everyday life can add up to a big difference for the planet. Come learn about the diversity of marine life in the Salish Sea. | Free
Thursday, June 9, 5:30 pm - Orcas of the Northwest - On-line webinar. Learn from experts about the different kinds of orcas that live in the waters of the Northwest, why they're threatened, and what we can do to help. | Free
Thursday, June 16, 6:30-9:30pm - Toxic Beauty: From Puget Sound to Orcas - at Woodland Park Zoo Auditorium, Seattle. Showcasing toxic cleanup efforts that are helping orcas & salmon survive. Appetizers and drinks included. | $12
Orca/Salmon Pub Talks - TBD. Friendly gatherings at local watering holes. | Free
SRKW Trivia Pub night - TBD. Fascinating factoids about orcas. | Free
Saturday, June 18, 10am - 4:30pm - Orcas In Our Midst Workshop to celebrate and learn about Southern Resident Orcas. - at Whidbey Children's Theater in Langley. | $25 Students and Seniors; $35 General.
Fragile Waters documentary - Date TBD. - at Langley Whale Center. Interviews with whale experts and environmentalists about Southern Residents on film and in person. | Free
Friday, June 24, 11:00am - A March for endangered orcas. - We will be marching from Percival Landing Park to Governor Inslee's office where we will present him and/or his staff with our petitions, letters, and messages supporting the breaching of the 4 Lower Snake River Dams so that we can save our salmon and our beloved Southern Resident Orcas.
Saturday, June 25, 6:00 pm - Annual Orca Sing. - at Lime Kilm State Park, San Juan Island. Bring a picnic and a blanket for this free outdoor concert featuring Fred West & City Cantabile Choir and gather with orca-friendly folks for lofty music, serene sunsets and maybe whales. | Free
Sunday, June 26, 12-2:30 pm - Oil, Orcas, and Oystercatchers: Preparing for the inevitable? - at Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 13 miles NW of Mount Vernon. Learn about the threats our region's iconic Southern Resident orca and marine bird populations face from increased oil tanker traffic in the Salish Sea, with a training opportunity for local oil spill response and observation efforts. | Free
Wednesday, June 29, 6:30pm - 9pm - Orca and Salmon, an Evening of Story-Telling - at Town Hall, Seattle. An evening of appetizers, drinks, and stories, featuring authors: David Neiwert, Brenda Peterson, Lower Elwha Klallam storyteller Roger Femandes. For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org. | $10 - $15.