The Whale Trail

Our mission is to inspire appreciation and stewardship of whales and our marine environment by establishing a network of viewing sites along the whales' trails throughout the Salish Sea and along the Pacific Coast. Our goals are to increase awareness that our marine waters are home to orcas and other species; connect visitors to orcas, other marine wildlife and their habitat; inspire stewardship and build community; and promote land-based whale watching.

Show All
Address: 6523 California Ave SW #410
Seattle, WA 98136-2069
Phone Number: 206-919-5397
EIN: 27-3093674
The Whale Trail is a series of sites to view orcas or other marine mammals from shore.  Each site has a page on our website, and many feature interpretive signs. From 16 inaugural sites in Washington, there are now more than 90, spanning four states and two countries. Through our signs, including two on every ferry, we reach more than 50 million people each year.

Our overarching goal is to recover the southern resident orcas from the threat of extinction. By making it easier for people to watch whales from shore, we're giving J, K and L pods a better chance to survive. The Whale Trail is listed in NOAA's Killer Whale Recovery Plan. We produce innovative programs such as Orca Talks and Orca Steward trainings.

The Whale Trail has its roots in a rare conservation success-the return of the orphaned orca Springer. To get the whale home, we had to learn how to work together. Above all, we put the whale's best interest first. The Whale Trail was founded in that spirt, and by many of the same team members.

Our partners include NOAA Fisheries, OCNMS, WDFW, Seattle Aquarium, the Whale Museum and BC Cetacean Sighting Network. The project was founded and is led by Donna Sandstrom, whose background includes 14 years at Adobe Systems.

Together we are creating a powerful piece of common ground, connecting communities not just to the whales, but to each other. We have a rare and time-bound opportunity to connect the west coast for the whales. We need your help to make it happen. Thank you!