Puget Sound Express is proud to support the work of the Center for Whale Research, located in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island. The Center for Whale Research is dedicated to the study and conservation of the Southern Resident Killer Whale (Orca) population in the Pacific Northwest.
Led by biologist Ken Balcomb, the Center for Whale Research (CWR) has conducted an annual photo-identification study of the Southern Resident Killer Whale population that frequents the inland waters of Washington State and lower British Columbia. A nearly four decade effort, these studies have provided unprecedented baseline information on population dynamics and demography, social structure, and individual life histories.
CWR’s work is critical to ensure the survival of the Southern Resident population. When the Southern Residents were listed as endangered in Canada in 2001 and in the United States in 2005, recovery plans were drafted to address the issues currently affecting their survival. These recovery plans listed four main threats to the survival of this species:
- Reduced quantity and quality of prey (Chinook/King/Spring salmon)
- High environmental levels of persistent biochemicals, such as PCB’s and flame retardants, that have known harmful effects on marine mammals (eg. immune system repression and reproductive system dysfunction)
- Sound and disturbance from vessel traffic and shipping
- Potential oil spills
When you go whale watching with Puget Sound Express, you can help support CWR’s work. At checkout, simply select the “Support Orca Research” option, and we’ll send $2 for every order to the Center for Whale Research.