Orca Action Month honors Southern Residents

June has been proclaimed Orca Action Month in the Pacific Northwest.

June has been proclaimed Orca Action Month in the Pacific Northwest. This June marks the 17th annual celebration of Orca Month in Washington State and the eighth annual celebration in Oregon and British Columbia. Members of the Orca Salmon Alliance are hosting events throughout the month to educate the public about the Southern Resident orca population and the challenges they face, including reduced Chinook salmon numbers, pollutants in the water, higher risk for oil spills, and noise and disturbance.

Orca Action Month’s 2023 theme “Lasting Legacies” highlights the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act and honors some legendary Southern Resident orcas who leave behind lasting legacies.

Through messaging, activities, and events, organizers hope to celebrate this iconic, world-famous population and bring together tribal members, researchers, orca lovers, and elected officials to inspire action and advocacy efforts to protect this highly endangered species. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to get involved and participate throughout this exciting month.

An in-person event to kick off Orca Action Month will be held June 4 at 3-5 p.m. at the Langley Whale Center. Admission is free and refreshments will be provided. A hybrid in-person/virtual event will be held 3-5 p.m., with keynote speakers Florian Graner of Sealife Productions joining from the Whidbey Island event and Jay Julius of Se’si’le and the Lummi Nation joining from the San Juan Island event. For the virtual event, participants must register via Zoom in advance.

Graner started Sealife Productions, a family company that films and produces wildlife documentaries. He holds a Ph.D. in marine biology with specialization in marine mammals. He brings passion and extensive subject knowledge to his films.

Orca Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting whales and people in the Pacific Northwest , started Orca Month in 2007. The goal was to bring together researchers, advocates, and orca lovers everywhere to raise awareness of the threats facing the Southern Resident orcas while providing a community celebration of the orcas of the Salish Sea. Orca Month is now celebrated in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia to engage communities throughout the range of the Southern Residents to learn more and take action for Southern Resident orcas.

Visit orcamonth.com to learn more and to find events to participate in.