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What Puget Sound Families Can Do to Help Our Local Orcas

Essential tips and resources to help the wildlife in Puget Sound

Bryony Angell

Published on: May 08, 2023

Orcas swimming
Orcas swim in the waters of Puget Sound

How to honor and protect our orca neighbors

There are few things more impactful than looking into the eye of your neighbor when that neighbor is ... a whale.

The Puget Sound region, and the greater Salish Sea extending into Canada, is home to abundant sea life, including whales. Orca (or killer) whales are actually dolphins, taxonomically speaking, and are especially charismatic marine creatures, given their iconic graphic black and white appearance. As someone who’s seen these magnificent whales from both land and boat, I can tell you that nothing compares to witnessing the power and confidence of an orca pod cutting through the water like they own it.

Yet our orca neighbors are vulnerable to the pressures of human activity and are in fact declining in numbers. They need our help.

A few things have put our local orca whales in the news recently: the birth of two calves in September 2020 in the beleaguered J Pod. In March 2023 it was announced that Tokitae, (also known as Lolita) who was captured and sold to Miami Seaquarium in 1971, when she was just 4 years old, will finally be returned home. Members of the Lummi Nation have been fighting for her return to the Salish Sea for 52 years.

What can families do to honor and protect our orca neighbors, and also enjoy their magnificent presence in Puget Sound?

Let’s get started: Educate yourself 

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