Submitted by The Whale Museum

A GoFundMe created by The Whale Museum is more than a third of a way to its goal after just a week of being online.

The Whale Museum, located in Friday Harbor, launched a GoFundMe campaign on Sept. 21 seeking $30,000 to help support its operations and programs. By the afternoon of Sept. 29, it had raised more than $13,730 thanks to 195 contributors. Donations range from $10 to $500.

For more than 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. The Whale Museum has played a pivotal role in connecting you with these magnificent animals since 1976.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum was forced to close for more than five months of 2020. It has now finally reopened but is only able to operate at 25 percent capacity due to social distancing requirements. The financial impact of the COVID-19 closures has been devastating for us. During a normal year, the museum welcomes more than 30,000 people through its exhibit hall. Unfortunately, after nearly half a year of lost revenue, the museum’s ability to continue operations at expected levels is uncertain. Simply put, The Whale Museum needs your help!

The museum portion is crucial to funding The Whale Museum’s education and research programs. These programs further the community’s collective understanding of the whales. They inform conservation efforts related to the whales’ continued safety and survival. For example, The Whale Museum’s Soundwatch program helps educate boaters on how to reduce their impact. The museum also collects data on all vessels around the whales. Its SeaSound Remote Sensing Network program records underwater noise that may affect the whales and gives you the opportunity to listen to them. The Whale Hotline program maintains a master database of orca sightings. Scientists, governments, and other groups use the museum’s data to make important decisions about conservation efforts in both the United States and Canada. All of the museum’s 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. The Whale Museum appreciates all of its supporters, and looks 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 its programs.

To donate to the museum’s GoFundMe, visit For more information about The Whale Museum, visit