For over 40 years, The Whale Museum has been on a mission to promote stewardship of the Southern Resident community of orcas and the ecosystem of the Salish Sea they call home. More than a half million people enjoy these endangered killer whales each year. They are some of the most well known whales in the world. We've played a pivotal role in connecting you with these magnificent animals since 1976.
In 2020, we were required to close our museum in Friday Harbor, Washington for more than 5 months and are now finally re-open, but only at 25% capacity. The financial impact of the Covid-19 closures have been devastating for us. During a normal year, we'd welcome more than 30,000 people through our exhibit hall. Unfortunately, after nearly half a year of lost revenue, our ability to continue operations at expected levels is uncertain. Simply put: we need your help!
The museum is crucial to funding our education and research programs. These programs further our collective understanding of the whales. They inform conservation efforts related to the whales' continued safety and survival. For example, our Soundwatch program helps educate boaters how to reduce their impact. We also collect data on all vessels around the whales. Our Seasound program records underwater noise that may affect the whales and gives you the opportunity to listen to them. Our Whale Hotline program maintains a master database of orca sightings. Scientists, governments, and other groups use our data to make important decisions about conservation efforts in both the U.S. and Canada. All our programs are important and need your help to continue.
From the outset, this small museum with a big mission was community built and continues to be community supported. We appreciate all our supporters, and look forward to being even stronger in 2021 with your help! Thank you in advance for any support you are able to offer. All donations will support the year-round costs associated with operating the museum and our programs.