For 12 years, June has been celebrated as Orca Month in the Pacific Northwest. Orca Month is a time to celebrate the presence of the Southern Resident orcas off our coast, and inspire action to address the many threats facing them. Celebrations will be hosted throughout British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington. For the little ones, fun and learning combine at The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, the first museum on the West Coast dedicated to the stewardship of whales.

San Juan Islands Orcas (Photo Credit: Jim Maya)

Orca awareness events in the San Juan Islands include:

  • June 9, 2018, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Hour for the Ocean Cleanup: Celebrate World Oceans Day by spending one hour helping our ocean! Meet at Jackson’s Beach on San Juan Island and Crescent Beach on Orcas Island.
  • June 10, 2018, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Whales in Your Neighborhood: Meet up with expert naturalists at local parks, like Lime Kiln Point State Park on San Juan Island, to search for and learn more about land-based whale watching and the whales who live in the Salish Sea, in particular, our endangered Southern Resident orcas. This event is hosted by Orca Network, Whale Scout and Friends of Lime Kiln Society (FOLKS).
  • June 23, 2018, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Orca Sing: Gather for an evening of music at Lime Kiln Point State Park to honor the Southern Resident orcas! Participants are encouraged to bring a picnic and enjoy the lingering sunset. Tours of the historic lighthouse will be offered by FOLKS before and after the concert.
Southern Resident Killer Whales (Photo Credit: Ken Rea, Spirit of Orca)

For over 40 years, the Center for Whale Research has studied the dynamic populations of J, K, and L pods, also known as the Southern Residents. They’re excited to announce the opening of the Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center in downtown Friday Harbor this summer. They aim to educate and share the knowledge gathered during years of research. People and orcas will be brought face to face in innovative ways; including big screen video footage of the whales in the wild as experienced from their research boats and other fun and educational displays. For more information, email

Southern Resident Killer Whales (Photo Credit: Ken Rea, Spirit of Orca)

For families traveling to the San Juan Islands this summer, Pod Nods—fun and educational sleepovers at The Whale Museum—give parents a break from the kids and vice versa while everyone vacations. Marine learning adventures include games, crafts, labs & the ever-popular flashlight tour to keep 6-11-year-olds engaged. July 13, August 10 & 24, 2018. $44 per child for members, $49 non-members. To register, call (360) 378-4710 ext.30.

J26 Mike, a Southern Resident Orca (Photo Credit: Ken Rea, Spirit of Orca)

A complete list of Orca Month events can be found here.  Don’t forget to hashtag your orca adventures with #orcamonth #sanjuanislands

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *