About Us | Orca Protectors

Orca Protectors is an outreach arm of San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping, a diverse group of San Juan Islands’ citizens who call these islands home. We act to help protect the environmental and economic health of the Salish Sea, so all creatures can continue to live, thrive and enjoy our island home together.
The Southern Resident Killer Whales, also known as orcas, are a beloved symbol of a safe and healthy Salish Sea. However, their population is diminishing and their challenges are many. The fragility of the resident orcas is an obvious indicator that the entire Salish Sea ecosystem needs our help.

Orca Protectors recognize the three major threats to the health of the orcas: 
1. Increase in vessel noise – interference in ability to communicate and find scarce food 
2. Decrease in food supply – fewer salmon due to habitat loss 
3. Increase in water pollution – toxins accumulate in whale blubber

What can an Orca Protector do to protect the whales? 

1. Promote quiet waters 
• advocate for safe shipping practices (slower, quieter vessels)
• promote and observe no-go or quiet zones
• watch orcas from more than the required distance, or from shore

2. Save the salmon (orca food) 
• improve and protect habitat for forage fish (salmon food)
• support local salmon recovery projects
• suspend eating Chinook (King) salmon until the population increases. Consult seafoodwatch.org for further information regarding sustainable seafood consumption

3. Protect clean water 
• use earth-friendly house, garden, and boat products
• observe no-discharge zones
• conserve water

All proceeds go to education and advocacy to help save the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales.