Oregon's Orcas

Protecting Southern Resident Killer Whales Benefits Oregon’s Coastal Biodiversity

Oregon Shores and several allied groups rallied public support and successfully listed the Southern Resident killer whales on Oregon’s Endangered Species list earlier this year. This milestone achievement is vital for these magnificent creatures’ survival and holds significant benefits for Oregon’s coastal ecosystems.

Southern Resident killer whales, an iconic symbol of the Pacific Northwest, rely heavily on healthy marine environments for their survival. One key aspect of their habitat is the rich ecosystem provided by Oregon’s estuaries. These estuaries serve as primary prey habitat for the whales, offering an abundant source of Chinook salmon, their main food source.

By securing protections for the Southern Resident killer whales, we are also safeguarding the health of Oregon’s estuaries. Enhanced protections mean stricter regulations on pollutants, habitat degradation, and human activities that may harm these critical habitats.

Preserving the health of estuaries benefits killer whales and supports a myriad of other species, including fish, birds, and marine mammals. Estuaries act as vital nurseries for various fish species, contributing to their populations and ensuring the stability of the entire coastal food web.

Furthermore, protecting Southern Resident killer whales and their habitat aligns with Oregon Shores’ mission of preserving and enhancing Oregon’s coastal environment. By raising awareness, advocating for policies, and engaging in conservation efforts, we aim to ensure a thriving and resilient ecosystem for both wildlife and communities along Oregon’s coast.

Together, we can continue to make strides in protecting Southern Resident killer whales and preserving the rich biodiversity of Oregon’s coastal ecosystems for generations to come.

Get Involved

By taking these actions, you can contribute to the protection of Southern Resident killer whales and help preserve Oregon's coastal ecosystems for future generations.

  • Spread the Word

    Take the opportunity to educate friends, family, and colleagues about the importance of Southern Resident killer whales and the threats they face. Share articles, videos, or educational resources to help others understand the issues and inspire action. In July, you can also share the information we post about Orca Action Month on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Use hashtags like #OrcaMonth and #ProtectOurOrcas to raise awareness. You can also create posts or stories highlighting the importance of Southern Resident killer whales and the need for their protection.

    Don’t forget, they’re Oregon’s orcas, too!

  • Attend Events

    Check out the events we host and share, there are often ways to learn more or get involved both in person and remotely.

    Events Calendar

  • Support Our Work

    Support Oregon Shores’ conservation efforts by making a donation. Your contribution will help fund research, advocacy, and outreach programs aimed at protecting Oregon’s coastal ecosystems, including the habitats critical for Southern Resident killer whales.

    Give Today

  • Report a Sighting

    As one of CoastWatch’s community science efforts, we’ve teamed up with the Oregon Coast Killer Whale Monitoring Project to help track sightings of these whales in Oregon waters.

    The Oregon Coast Killer Whale Monitoring Program aims to collect current information about killer whales that spend time off the Oregon coast. When reporting, include the time of sighting, location, and direction of travel. Any additional information, such as the number of individuals or behavior, is also welcome.

    Please maintain a safe distance and be a responsible steward on land or sea.

    Learn More

  • Shop to Support

    Visit our store and purchase an “Oregon’s Orcas Too” sticker, shirt, sweatshirt, or hoodie and support orcas in style.

    Shop Now

  • Contact Legislators

    Advocate for policies that support the protection of Southern Resident killer whales and their habitats. Write letters or emails to local and state legislators urging them to prioritize marine conservation initiatives. You can also sign petitions or participate in letter-writing campaigns organized by environmental organizations.

  • Celebrate Orca Action Month

    In 2024, Governor Kotek officially declared June Orca Action Month in Oregon. Learn more about how we celebrated and the history of this exciting campaign to raise awareness and take action for Southern Resident killer whales.

    Learn More

Help preserve the legacy of our Oregon coast for all generations