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Photo:  A.S. Wright

British Columbia’s coastline is 900 kilometres as the crow flies, but includes over 27,000 kilometers of archipelago, inlets, islands and fjords. This geography fosters a spectacular diversity of life but also makes it vulnerable to a variety of threats, from oil spills to increasing industrialization. Our marine conservation program aims to protect marine mammals, marine birds and their habitats.

Initiatives in our Marine Research and Conservation Program

Protecting endangered killer whales

The WHaLE Project

Defining and Defending Marine Mammal Habitat 

Marine Birds

Pacific Herring


A quiet sunny day on the The Fraser River.

Wild Salmon, Pipelines and the Trans Mountain Expansion

As the endangered Southern Resident killer whale population continues to struggle from the combined forces of noise, pollution and food (i.e. Chinook) availability, Raincoast Conservation Foundation has released a report ...
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Two Southern Resident killer whales in the Salish Sea, with CFAX logo and Misty MacDuffee in the foreground

Interview: Southern Resident killer whales, fisheries, whale watching and the need for enforcement

Last week, Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the David Suzuki Foundation made a joint call for action to save the Southern Resident killer whales. This call for action was made to ...
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J16 and J26 on a smokey day in the Salish Sea.

Backgrounder: Emergency order under the Species at Risk Act

In May, the federal government concluded Southern Resident killer whales face imminent threats to their survival and recovery, requiring a response under the Species at Risk Act. Five organizations — ...
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J50 swims toward San Juan Island: a group of people stand by the lighthouse waiting and watching.

Fisheries closures needed for killer whales

The world has watched Southern Resident killer whale Tahlequah (J35) carry her dead calf, her child, for over two weeks. It’s a visible grief.  At the same time, another young ...
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The dead calf of J35 floats in the waters of the Salish Sea.

Misty MacDuffee on CFAX 1070 on fishery closures, Chinook salmon and Southern Resident killer whales

Last week our hearts were broken watching Southern Resident killer whale J35 struggle with her grief for the passing of her calf, shortly after birth. Southern Resident killer whales need ...
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L92 comes to the surface to get a better look around; spyhop.

Endangered killer whales still await real action

Vancouver Sun June 26, 2018 Two weeks ago Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau held a press conference in Vancouver to essentially re-announce the same measures Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc and ...
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Misty MacDuffee at the head office of Raincoast in Sidney, with the CFAX logo.

Misty MacDuffee speaks with Adam Stirling about the death of L92

The federal government has made several announcements designed to reduce threats to Southern Resident killer whales. With the death of another killer whale (L92) last week, are we doing enough? ...
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Transmountain, or Taxpayer Mountain

Trans Mountain is now Taxpayer Mountain

The Canadian federal government’s move to purchase the Trans Mountain oil sands pipeline project from Texas based Kinder Morgan is financially and environmentally dubious. With the decision to pour billions ...
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Southern Resident killer whales: J2 (right) and juvenile J45 (left) chasing a salmon.

Government declares “imminent threat” to survival of Southern Resident killer whales

Early in 2018, our lawyers at Ecojustice petitioned the federal ministers responsible for the recovery of Southern Resident killer whales for emergency protection under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. We ...
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Misty MacDuffee stands in the rain explaining the risks to SRKWs.

Misty MacDuffee speaks to lack of government action on Southern Resident killer whales

What is the government of Canada doing to protect the Southern Resident killer whales? The threat to these killer whales has not changed. Misty Macduffee, Raincoast Conservation Foundation Biologist & ...
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Southern Resident killer whale mother and juvenile.

Oil tankers: a killer for whales

The 29th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill quietly came and went a few weeks ago. The lack of fanfare was ironic, as that disastrous event is more relevant ...
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Five Southern Resident killer whales swim side by side in the Salish Sea.

Feds’ fisheries announcement a welcome first step: groups renew call for killer whale emergency order

Conservation groups are applauding today’s announcement from Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Dominic LeBlanc and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna that endangered Southern Resident killer whales face ...
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Maps of marine birds distributions and densities overlaid onto a tufted puffin.

Predictions from machine learning ensembles: marine bird distribution and density on Canada’s Pacific coast

In February of 2017, a team of researchers from five research facilities published their findings in Marine Ecology Progress Series: “Predictions from machine learning ensembles: Marine bird distribution and density ...
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A tug lines up beside a massive oil tanker.

Trans Mountain expansion poses unacceptable risk to Salish Sea

Is Canada’s national interest best aligned with a Texas pipeline company? The suggestion of bailing out U.S.-based Kinder Morgan and investing tax dollars to access public assets in a sunset ...
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Juvenile killer whale and mother off the coast of British Columbia.

Conservation groups put ministers on notice over Southern Resident killer whales

Conservation groups are putting Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Dominic LeBlanc on notice as the groups race to secure protection for ...
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