ILWACO – Cape Disappointment State Park will host the inaugural “Orca Day,” at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 15.
The day includes kids’ activities from 1-4 p.m. and an evening presentation at 7 p.m. at the park’s Waikiki Amphitheater.
Cape Disappointment is located at 244 Robert Gray Drive.
The evening program features John Calambokidis from Cascadia Research and The Whale Trail’s Donna Sandstrom. Port of Ilwaco Commissioner Butch Smith will introduce the featured speakers.
The activities and presentation will educate attendees through stories and facts about J, K and L orca pods along with an update on gray whales. Visitors to the interpretive Whale Trail can view many types of whales and marine mammals from shore.
The southern resident orcas are endangered and could go extinct in as few as 100 years.
Comprising just 76 individuals, the population is nearing its historical low of 71. Sandstrom, Smith and a representative from Washington State Parks serve on Governor Inslee’s Southern Resident Orca Task Force. In November 2018, the task force recommended 36 actions to recover the southern residents.
“It’s not too late to save the southern residents—yet.” Sandstrom said. “The threats that have brought these beloved and iconic pods to the edge of extinction are all human-caused: loss of prey, noise and disturbance from vessels and toxic accumulations. We each and all have a role to play in their recovery.”
The event is co-sponsored by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.