About Us

Our Approach

Our mission is to preserve and protect the ocean and its inhabitants.

Save the Whales was founded in 1977 when Maris Sidenstecker was 14 years old, and focuses on educating the public, especially children, about marine mammals and the fragile ocean environment.

Save the Whales believes children, the future of the planet, need to be empowered and know that their actions can promote change. Education is the key to saving whales, oceans, and ourselves.

Many people believe that whales have been protected by the 1986 worldwide ban on whaling.

Don't believe it.

Killings, captures, bombings, and pollution continue to threaten these peaceful creatures. We invite you to become a member of Save The Whales, a widely-admired nonprofit organization that has been working tirelessly to protect marine life for over 40 years.

Your support enables Save the Whales to continue their valuable
work to protect marine mammals.

Save the Whales prevents Navy "Ship Shock" tests and saves 10,000 Marine Mammals
In an unprecedented victory, Save the Whales attorneys and scientific experts stopped the U.S. Navy from detonating 269 "Ship Shock" explosives in waters off of Southern California. Countless marine mammals were saved from death and injury including endangered whales, dolphins, and seals.

Save the Whales Stops Salt Mining Operation
Save the Whales, in conjunction with Mexican and U.S. environmental groups, worked relentlessly to halt Mitsubishi's plan to expand salt mining operations into the fragile San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja, California - the last undeveloped gray whale birthing lagoon in the world.

Save the Whales Supports Rescue Efforts

Fishing nets entangle and drown marine mammals everyday. Our support of a rescue boat operation off of Southern California, saves whales, dolphins, seals, and birds that would otherwise die a slow and painful death.

Save the Whales Campaigns Against Whaling
Despite the 1986 moratorium on whaling, the slaughter continues.

Save the Whales Works to Stop Marine Mammal Capture and Captivity
Taken from their families in the wild, 50% of dolphins die within two years and their estimated life span shrinks from 35 years to less than five. Save the Whales continues to educate the public about the cruelty of captivity.

Save the Whales Works With Local, State, and Federal Agencies to Reduce Urban Runoff
Sea otters in Monterey, California are dying from diseases believed to be caused by urban runoff. Storm water pollution (urban runoff) is one of the largest sources of water pollution nationwide. Pollutants, including used motor oil, antifreeze, detergents, litter, paint, pesticides, pet waste, and copper, are flushed off streets and into storm drains which lead straight into rivers, creeks, and the oceans. Toxic chemicals (DDT and PCBs) in the ocean continue to affect marine mammals. Educating the public about this serious water quality issue is a priority for Save the Whales.

Saving Whales: The Next Generation
No one action will ensure the safety of whales for all time. This is why Save the Whales devotes so much time reaching out to children about marine life. So far, over 330,000 children have learned about whales and how to save sea life through Whales on Wheels (WOW™). This innovative hands-on program - taught by marine biologists - brings whale bones, marine mammals artifacts, and conservation messages to the classroom.

WOW™ has traveled across the nation visiting school children in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, and California. WOW™ is based in Monterey, California and has a program reach around the Monterey Bay.

Since 2003, the Save The Whales BWET Program has been taking students out in the natural environment to observe their local watershed, take water quality data and use scientific intstruments. This nine-month hands-on opportunity allows students to see how human activities on land caused by pollution can enter creeks and streams and flow to the ocean. Save The Whales focuses on after-school programs in East Salinas, California as it is one of the highest crime areas in Central California. Offering positive opportunities for students keeps them engaged and allows them to see how they can make a difference in their community.

Worldwide and nationwide, we educate the public by disseminating information by snail mail, email, web site, Adopt A Whale kits, newsletters, an award winning TV public service announcement, media and radio appearances, and events.

Maris Sidenstecker II Full Biography