Each year, thousands of people go whale watching in the San Juan Islands with hopes of photographing an orca breaching the ocean surface. It’s not hard to understand the fascination. Not only are orcas majestic, they are also one of the sea’s smartest creatures.
Like all creatures, though, orcas require protection so that future generations can appreciate them. Following are measures that people can take to help ensure the survival of orcas:
Save Water in Your Home
Nope, you didn’t misread the heading. Believe it or not, saving water in your home can greatly impact the wellbeing of orcas. By simply turning off the tap when it’s not in use, you can ensure that there is more fresh water for salmonids, an important food fish for orcas. Other ways to conserve water include water-saving shower heads and fixing leaky pipes at home.
Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Millions of people use household-cleaning products while totally unaware of their impact on our oceans. Remember, whenever you wash your car, the chemicals in the cleaner run into drain pipes and then into the ocean, thus endangering orcas and all other marine life. If possible, try to use eco-conscious cleaning products free of chemical residues that eventually find the sea.
Adopt an Orca (Symbolically, That Is!)
You’ve heard about adopting a dog or cat, but what about an orca? No, you won’t need an ocean-sized pool to house it. All you need is a bit of cash and willingness to do what is called a symbolic adoption. For example, the famous Whale Museum and Research Center on San Juan Island allows you to select the whale you adopt and includes regular updates and photos on your whale as well as other benefits. http://whalemuseum.org Because it is a research center all revenues go towards efforts to protect and conserve orcas.
Responsible Whale Watching
While many water parks offer whale-watching, these involve captive orcas. If you really want to be ethical about your whale watching, board an ocean charter and watch these creatures in the wild. There are many San Juan Island whale-watching companies that offer such an experience. These companies adhere to responsible whale-watching practices to ensure the creature’s safety and habitat.
Protecting orcas is more than just ensuring the survival of a species. It’s about making sure people are aware of their responsibility to steward the environment. By following these tips, future generations won’t have to rely on mere photos to appreciate the beauty and majesty of orcas.
Save the Orcas, whaleman.org