Featured Image Credit: National Geographic Kids
By: Laura O’Brien
A non-government entity called the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced excellent news for their program, and even better news for orcas, last week. The Foundation received nine grants whose combined total was $888,265, and matching contributions to those grants will bring the total amount of money received to over 2 million. The grants were awarded through a partnership called Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program. The partnership is supported by Shell, SeaWorld, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The grants that were attained through the Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program support projects which aim to increase the population of orcas near Washington state. They hope to achieve this by restoring the population of a major component of orcas’ diet, the Chinook salmon. They will collaborate with Northwest Straits Marine Resource Committees in order to restore crucial habitat for the salmon, including 8 acres where juvenile salmon live. The programs also aim to work with local fishermen and educate them about the importance of protecting forage fish and the relationship the fish have with orca populations.
The executive director and CEO of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation said, “Saving this apex species is an ‘all hands on deck’ situation. It is only through partnerships supporting a comprehensive approach to conservation that we will be able to reverse the decline of this iconic species of the Pacific Northwest”. The collaboration between organizations to create KWRCP, and their recent receipt of grants are huge signs of progress towards the program’s goal. We look forward to seeing what they accomplish next!
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