Thanks for asking! Proceeds from the Orca Adoptions directly benefit our education programs and research efforts.
Our biggest effort is our Exhibit Hall which is open to the public nearly year-round. Through two floors of exhibits, visitors learn more about the Southern Resident Community of orcas, other marine mammals and the Salish Sea ecosystem. We hope that by learning about this richly diverse yet fragile ecosystem, visitors will be inspired to become better stewards.
Our education efforts include:
- Presentations and guided tours for school groups and other visitors like Roads Scholar
- Research lectures
- Marine Naturalist Training Programs
- Pod Nod Sleep-Over Adventures for Kids
Our research includes:
- The Seasound Remote Sensing Network, which includes the hydrophone array at the Lime Kiln Point lighthouse. This array is part of the broader OrcaSound.net network which streams live on the internet. This helps us monitor underwater noise which can affect an orca's ability to communicate and find prey.
- The Whale Hotline. Since 1976, we've kept a database of orca and other marine mammal sightings in the inland waters. This helps determine use & frequency which helps identify critical habitat.
- The San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network. For animals that strand deceased, we often conduct necropsies. This helps us understand why the animal died and what health issues might be present in the marine ecosystem.
- The Soundwatch Boater Education Program. This on-the-water program is both education & research. The research effort includes characterizing vessel trends over time in the presence of whales.