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Friday, January 15, 2016

"WAYS OF WHALES WORKSHOP" — Make Plans to Attend This Event on Jan. 23, 2016

photo courtesy of Jill Hein/Orca Network

All around us in the Salish Sea—the combined inland waters of Washington and British Columbia—live whales called "orcas." Soon, you will have a great opportunity to learn more about them. A thrill to see, their problems are less visible and they themselves generally misunderstood. They are known as "Killer Whales" to many, but rather than being a threat to humans, these graceful creatures face devastating threats to their well-being and survival because of humans. Environmental pollution and a decrease in the salmon upon which these Pacific Northwest whales feed are manmade problems that can only have manmade solutions. 

photo courtesy of Jill Hein/Orca Network

Orca Network wants to give you plenty of reasons to care about the region's whales during the organization's annual "Ways of Whales Workshop." The 2016 event takes place on Saturday, January 23, at the Coupeville Middle School Performing Arts Center, 501. S Main St. Coupeville, WA, on Whidbey Island. Between 9:30am and 4:30pm that day, attendees can hear fascinating talks about the endangered Southern Resident Community of orcas, the Transient/Gigg's Keller Whales, Humpback whales, and more. 

Whenever I receive press releases from Orca Network, I am once again awed by the dedication of Co-Founders Susan Berta and Howard Garrett. With the help of many volunteers, they dedicate countless hours of their lives to educating the public and getting people engaged in the effort to protect these marine mammals and their habitat. By reading the Orca Network website, I recently learned how human-like these aquatic neighbors are. They have complex societies, strong lifelong family bonds, distinctive dialects and hunting practices, and other aspects of whale culture that are passed down through each subsequent generation of their families. 

photo courtesy of Jill Hein/Orca Network

Orca Network has a slogan: Connecting Whales and People in the Pacific Northwest. Wouldn't you like to make this connection? Here is a sampling of the expert speakers you can hear and topics covered in the Ways of Whales Workshop:

Howard Garrett, Orca Network - Lolita/Tokitae Update                                                      
Deborah Giles, Center for Whale Research - Southern Resident Orcas                                
Juliana Houghton, ELISS - Transient orcas in the Salish Sea                                             
Fred Sharpe, Alaska Whale Foundation - Humpback Whales                                                 
Treaty Talks: Paddling up the Columbia River for People and Salmon - short documentary 
Dana Lyons, the Great Salish Sea songEnvironmental education displays and materials will be available throughout the day, including a table from Orca Network's Langley Whale Center gift shop, with whale books, DVDs (including our NEW Fragile Waters DVD!), CDs, field guides and more.

And special this year is an additional talk on Humpback whales by Fred Sharpe on Sunday, January 24, 4 pm at the Langley Whale Center, 115 Anthes, Langley, WA.

Cost of the workshop is $35 ($25 for Students/Seniors), and a hot lunch is available for purchase for an additional $10  
(for those who pre-register, or on an as-available basis).

Pre-registration is highly recommended, as seating is limited and likely to sell out.
Further information and online registration are available at Questions? Contact Orca Network at or 360-331-3543 or 1-866-ORCANET.

photo courtesy of Jill Hein/Orca Network

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