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Clear WDC’s Amazon Wishlist for Giving Tuesday

The holiday season is knocking on our doors and Giving Tuesday is coming up soon!...
Fin whales are targeted by Icelandic whalers

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...
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Spout Spotters: Boater Safety Around Whales Online Course Launches

After countless hours behind the computer, bountiful snacks, and a few stress relieving walks with...
WDC team at UN Ocean conference

Give the ocean a chance – our message from the UN Ocean Conference

I'm looking out over the River Tejo in Lisbon, Portugal, reflecting on the astounding resilience...

Stream to Sea: Orca Action Month 2022

This June was an exceptionally busy and exciting Orca Month, starting with a somewhat surprising...
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Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...

It’s Time To Breach The Snake River Dams

The Snake River dams were controversial even before they were built.  While they were still...
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Five Facts About Orcas

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are one of the most recognizable and popular species...

Dear North Atlantic right whales… With love and fierce determination, Regina

North Atlantic right whale fluking
CCB 2015 mom zoomed

Dear North Atlantic right whales,

You have given me so much...

You taught me to be patient - you were the first species I saw when I first started whale watching.  Your 20 minute dives taught me to be patient and how to teach passengers about whales they couldn’t see.

You literally made me feel lucky to be alive - as we approached you to gently lay an ultrasound on your back, you rolled, half your fluke hovering over me, but you didn’t react to the sound of the engine screaming into reverse and I am still here.

You taught me to persevere - it took 6 years to get a ship strike speed rule in place temporarily and another 5 years to make it permanent so that you would be protected along the US east coast. 11 years total, but it was worth it.

You reminded me never to say never - on a cold January morning I saw you and your brand new calf in Cape Cod Bay, over a thousand miles from your “known” calving habitat, reminding me that anything is possible.

You proved to me how much I need you - your work as the ocean gardener helps to fertilize the waters of your habitat giving life to the phytoplankton that give me air to breathe.


You showed me what we did to you.

I gasped at the gaping wound around your tail as the rope cut into your flesh when Dr. Stormy Mayo made the first ever attempt to disentangle a right whale.  I held the line in the small boat as we ripped the line from your skin and opened wounds we could only hope would heal.

I am so sorry.

You have given me so much and what have "we" given you?

Today, Canada has announced your sixth preventable death - the fourth within 48 hours. 26 of you have died in the past two years now, but only 12 of you have been born.

“We” say it’s not on purpose, but “we” aren’t really making the efforts we need to for you to survive.

“We” haven’t demanded fishing without ropes, or ships slowing down throughout your habitat.

In fact, “we” haven’t even really looked for you.

As “we” rage about the deaths in Canada, “we” ignore the fact that most of you are not there and “we” aren’t looking.

“We” aren’t trying to find out where else you might be hurting, where else you might need help.

“We” need to do better.

“We” are the voters, the advocates, the people of the US and Canada who have a say in your future.

“We” can ask for funding for surveys, “we” can demand that ship speed restrictions be implemented, and “we” can create fishing gear that does not risk your survival.

“We” are the difference between your extinction and your recovery.

I am sad, I am angry, I am hurt, I am literally in tears…. But I am not giving up.

You have given me so much and I am not ready to say good-bye.


With love and fierce determination,


Photo credit: Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources/NOAA Permit 15488; Whale and Dolphin Conservation