Center for Whale Research · Orca Survey since 1976

A nonprofit organization

$16,355 raised by 139 donors

100% complete

$15,000 Goal

The Center for Whale Research (CWR) is dedicated to the study and conservation of the critically endangered Southern Resident killer whale (orca) population in the Pacific Northwest.

GIVE what you can. It's a BIG help!

Since 1976, Center for Whale Research (CWR) staff has collected detailed Southern Resident orca (SRKW) demographic data for our ORCA SURVEY project, recording all observed births and deaths and gathering detailed information on the behavior and ecology of the SRKW community. Our ground-breaking insights into orca biology and ecology have informed management and conservation decisions for this now gravely endangered population. ORCA SURVEY is one of the longest continuous individual-based marine mammal studies in science history.

“It is critical for us to document and observe the Southern Residents for at least the lifespan of one whale, preferably longer, 150 years. Continuing ORCA SURVEY and our new research is vital to understanding the orcas’ enduring needs.” — Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research Founder

As we’ve diligently done for five decades, CWR’s scientists and researchers, through ORCA SURVEY and our recently added Aerial Observation Study, persist in documenting the orca population, monitoring their health, and examining their interactions and behaviors. This on-the-water tracking and research of the iconic Southern Resident orcas bring about a BIGGER and better understanding of the orcas and their needs.

GIVE what you can. It's a BIG help!

Your financial contribution to the Center for Whale Research will:

  • HELP us continue our critically important, science-based ORCA SURVEY and Aerial Observation Study
  • HELP us educate thousands of people about the orcas and their needs through CWR’s Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center and
  • HELP us emphasize to state and federal politicians, government agencies, and the media that the orcas’ priority need is more natural wild Chinook salmon, advocating for “best” policy choices concerning salmon habitat restoration
  • HELP us support Pacific Northwest Chinook spawning habitat conservation (Balcomb Big Salmon Ranch) and advocate for removing the Lower Snake River dams.

Ken Balcomb’s wishes for the Center for Whale Research and its supporters—YOU—were for the organization’s RESEARCH, EDUCATION, CONSERVATION, and ADVOCACY efforts that he championed for 47 years continue for generations to come. CWR’s Salish Sea-based team of scientists, field staff, educators, archivists, fundraisers, and volunteers are and will work relentlessly to achieve Ken’s wishes.  

Please help us reach our GIVE BIG donation goal of $15,000. Thank you very much.

The Center for Whale Research's essential research, outreach and education, conservation investments, and calls for action would cease without your financial help. Your donations keep our BIG WISH alive: the survival of the charismatic and captivating Southern Resident orcas!

The Center for Whale Research is a 501c3 non profit organization registered in Washington State. 
Your generous donations will assist CWR in achieving our 2023 research, conservation, education, and advocacy goals. 

Organization Data


Organization name

Center for Whale Research · Orca Survey since 1976

Tax id (EIN)





PO Box 1577
Friday Harbor, WA 98250

Service areas

Friday Harbor, WA, US, 98250



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