Newsletter, February 2017

Site selection news … Strategic plan … Our team will be growing … Major article in Hakai Magazine. This is a copy of the November, 2016 newsletter as sent to all subscribers. To subscribe, just fill in your email address in the box to the right.

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Hello Everyone,

Thank you so much for subscribing to The Whale Sanctuary Project newsletter. Here’s some of what’s been happening over the last month:

Site Selection

We have completed the first stage of site selection: the “desktop” process, which involved surveying geographical, environmental, and land-use data from more than 100 sites in Nova Scotia, Maine, British Columbia, and Washington State, and then narrowing the list to 20 sites across those areas.

The next stage will involve refining the list to about six sites, and these will be evaluated at a very detailed level – including site visits and environmental impact studies, local and governmental meetings, and stakeholder negotiations – throughout the Spring and Summer of this year.

We expect to announce the primary site for the first whale sanctuary in North America in the Fall.

Strategic Plan

We have also completed a multi-year strategic plan for the building of the sanctuary, the transport of the first orcas and beluga whales, and their continuing care. Our primary goal, as we describe it in the planning document is:

To create a center of excellence in the fields of marine mammal science and behavior, veterinary medicine, husbandry and related engineering, law and policy, with experts who can lay the groundwork for the creation of permanent cetacean sanctuaries.

The strategic plan is a road-map that lays out everything from the infrastructure and construction of the buildings on the site, to the logistics of transporting and maintaining whales in the sanctuary, to what kinds of animal care staff and expertise will be required, to how we will develop our public education and outreach projects.

The document also includes a financial plan and budget that provides best estimates for what all the elements of the sanctuary will cost from now into perpetuity.

Our Team Will Be Growing

Over the course of the year, we’ll be adding new members to the team. We aim to draw several of these from the file of applications that people have been sending in over the last year. These range from highly-qualified veterinarians, to professionals of all kinds, to potential student interns, and to people who would like to volunteer in any capacity in an endeavor that they consider to be their life’s dream.


Hakai Magazine, a Canadian science and ecology publication, featured an article on The Whale Sanctuary Project, which includes interviews with President Lori Marino and Board member Charles Vinick.

Also, Lori Marino presented the reasons for building marine mammal sanctuaries and the principles behind The Whale Sanctuary Project at the recent “I Am Not an Animal!” symposium in Atlanta to an audience of people involved in animal advocacy, psychology, law, philosophy, ecology and ethics.

Thank You, Thank You!

There’s more news every week in the general media about how nonhuman animals are being retired from zoos and entertainment facilities to sanctuaries. There are already sanctuaries for elephants, big cats, great apes and other land-based animals, but with The Whale Sanctuary Project, we’re looking forward to creating the first North American seaside sanctuary for cetaceans.

Your donation, large or small, makes it all possible. Thank you so much for your help and support.

Michael Mountain
Member Communications

P.S. For daily updates, visit The Whale Sanctuary Project on Facebook and Twitter.