Take Action

What can we do to protect orcas?

Killer whales live in the ocean, and yet they are deeply affected by our human activities on land.  How can we ensure that they stay healthy and continue to grace Pacific Northwest waters?

Restore habitat for salmon

Puget Sound resident orcas, listed as endangered in 2005, depend on Chinook salmon as their primary food source. Yet Chinook salmon are also in decline, due to degradation of spawning streams and the natural, protected shorelines needed by young salmon.

What specific actions can I take?

  • Get to know the streams in your neighborhood and help them stay clean and chemical-free.
  • Support and join community groups to restore salmon spawning habitat in local streams.
  • If you own waterfront property, keep it natural by planting native vegetation and avoiding hard shoreline armoring.
  • Educate others about the important connections between orcas, salmon, and the health of the watershed you live in.

Where can I get more information on restoring salmon habitat? 
See the organizations below:

Keep contaminants out of coastal waters

The health of both transient and resident orcas is threatened by contaminants coming from human activities on land.  We can improve our personal and community practices to reduce the flow of harmful chemicals into marine waters.

What specific actions can I take?

  • At home, in your garden and in your garage, find environmentally-safe alternatives to hazardous chemicals.
  • Dispose of dangerous substances safely. Take advantage of community hazardous-waste drop-off stations and special collection dates.

  • Learn how harmful substances from roadways and paved surfaces are washing into marine waters.
  • Reduce contaminated runoff by supporting low impact development and by building neighborhood rain gardens.
  • Become active in a community water quality monitoring project in your community.
  • Insist on regulations to control or eliminate the dangerous chemicals finding their way into your home and community. 

Where can I get more information on reducing contamination of aquatic environments?
See the organizations below:

Watch orcas with restraint and respect

The underwater world is the orcas' home.  They need space and freedom to find food, communicate with each other, reproduce and move without restrictions.  

People also use Puget Sound waters for commerce and recreation.  We can’t avoid all activities that disturb orcas, but we can take steps to lessen the stress of our presence in their lives.

What specific actions can I take?

  • Consider observing killer whales from land rather than on the water.
  • Avoid attending public aquarium shows that feature live orcas or dolphins.

Where can I get more information on responsibile viewing practices? 
See the organizations below:


Return to Orca Project index page