About Orca Conservancy

Orca Conservancy (EIN: 91-1742694) is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) Washington State non-profit organization working on behalf of Orcinus orca, the killer whale, and protecting the wild places on which it depends.

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Orca Conservancy collaborates with some of the world’s top research institutions and environmental groups to address the most critical issues now facing wild orcas. The organization’s urgent attention is on the endangered Southern Resident killer whales of Puget Sound.

These three pods, J-Pod, K-Pod and L-Pod, were decimated by the depletion of prey resources, the accumulation of marine toxins, and the destruction of salmon spawning and nearshore habitats, the nurseries of the Salish Sea. They continue to reel from the effects of the brutal orca capture era of the 1960s and ’70s, where some 57 whales were removed from the Southern and Northern Resident populations and sent to marine parks.

They risk being wiped by a catastrophic oil spill in the Salish Sea, or getting caught in the crossfire of military exercises. And they’re potentially threatened by vessels, particularly private boats not following guidelines established by the Pacific Whale Watch Association.

The organization’s people are leaders in safeguarding critical habitats, advocating creative oil-spill prevention and response measures, establishing better protocols for the Navy to protect sensitive marine life, and in working with whale watchers and scientists to help them create effective new guidelines for sustainable wildlife viewing.

Orca Conservancy is committed to the welfare of all whales and dolphins, and is an authoritative source for information on captive cetaceans and on-going studies on the feasibility of returning these remarkable animals to the wild.

Orca Conservancy Board of Directors and Advisors

President of the Board of Directors

Shari Tarantino

Board of Directors

Brian Calvert, Dr. David Bain, Jackie Woods, Tamara Kelley, and Michael Harris


Tokitae Foundation founded on March 20, 1996 by Ralph Munro, Ken Balcomb, Kelley Balcomb-Bartok, and Howard Garrett

Tokitae Foundation changed its name to Orca Conservancy and was refounded on July 24, 2000 by Ralph and Karen Munro, Howard Garrett, Susan Berta, Michael Harris, Kelley Balcomb-Bartok, Fred Felleman, Brian Calvert and Stephanie Buffum

Orca Conservancy team photo

(L to R) Tamara Shea Kelley, Michael Harris, Jackie Woods, Dr. David Bain, Shari Tarantino. Photo credit: Will Harris. (Not Pictured: Brian Calvert).

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