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Founded 1977

Save The Whales' purpose is to educate children

and adults about marine mammals, their

environment and their preservation. 
Baby Gray Whale

Save The Whales' Efforts Help  

Save Baby Gray Whale and 

Will Lead to Additional Protection 

Photo by Sally Bartel

This is not photo of entangled baby but a baby - 

with its mother nearby - in Magdalena Bay, Baja, Mexico 


A gray whale was spotted off the San Diego, California coast heading south on January 28, 2012 by a pilot who photographed it and reported the incident to Save The Whales. The photograph showed an adult gray whale dragging a long piece of line attached to a float that appeared to be wrapped around the tail area. The information was posted on our website and on Facebook. Help was requested, especially from people in the lagoon areas of Baja, Mexico, where gray whales migrate every year to give birth.  We particularly were interested in targeting whale watching groups in the area. 
  Maris Sidenstecker II, co-founder of Save The Whales and a marine biologist, contacted experts in whale entanglement throughout the world. Via Facebook, Maris became involved with Rebeca Kobelowsky of Mario's Tours in Baja, Mexico. Rebeca said they were presently involved with an entangled gray whale and needed help.   

   Maris sent the names of entanglement experts and information she had collected to Rebeca and her team, so they were able to prepare with tools and instructions as to how to approach an entangled whale. The experts all said, "Do not get in the water with the whale." Rebeca, who is also a veterinarian, and her team searched for the whale and did not find the one spotted from the air. They did find a baby gray whale with a buoy entangled in its mouth.
  We anxiously awaited information from Rebeca who posted that the whale was disentangled and that it was relatively easy. But as far as the gray whale originally spotted from the air, she said, "It sounds like it's not the whale from San Diego." Later she posted, "it was not the same whale, it was the baby with a buoy. The alert is still on."

  We were extremely happy that a baby gray whale was saved and that entanglement procedures in Mexico will be enhanced, so that future whales may also be freed from nets.  Rebeca said:    


I am working on a proposal for a disentangling protocol that I will submit for the consideration of a commission of experts. They will review it and consider for a national disentangling protocol, because the law in Mexico states that there has to be one. This experience comes in a very good time because is very needed. A few days after the incident in Ojo de Liebre a humpback whale was disentangled at Loreto (in Baja California Sur) and the people that participated in the event dove with the whale and a few days ago another whale was disentangled in Acapulco by the Navy and they dove too.


Manatee - Florida

Photograph by Sally Bartel, Crystal Springs, Florida

Maris Sidenstecker II Communing with Manatee 


Manatees Face Multiple Threats to Survival

Manatees are tropical marine mammals that live in a wide variety of aquatic habitats from coastal marine areas to freshwater lakes and rivers located many kilometers inland. In the United States, manatees are found in Florida.
All manatee species are currently characterized as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (see below), primarily due to poaching, habitat destruction, pollution, and boat collisions. All manatee environments present challenges to biologists and wildlife managers.

  There are three species of manatees: West African (Trichechus senegalensis), Amazonian (Trichechus inunguis), and the West Indian (Trichechus manatus) manatee of which a subspecies can be found in Florida. During the winter months in America, manatees concentrate in Florida since they do not have blubber to keep them warm and therefore prefer warmer waters. At other times of the year, manatees have been sighted from Louisiana to the Carolinas and Virginia. Clearly, they can survive in fresh as well as salt waters.
   At a glance, their grayish-brown skin is wrinkly and peppered with short bristly hairs. Stiff facial whiskers also dart from their bulbous puffy snouts. Their facial expressions are indicative of their overall behavior which is placid. Their tranquil expressions may lie in the fact that their eyes are small, close together, and recessed. Adults can reach 13 feet in length and weigh as much as 3,500 pounds. Females are often greater in length and weigh more than males. 

   These gentle creatures, who spend more than five hours a day feeding on seagrasses, are endangered to the point of extinction. Their story is a familiar one - humans are the major threat to their existence.
From an article by Larry Hurst, Marine Biologist, Teacher

IUCN Classifications of Degrees of Threat:

By classifying species into categories of threat, conservation recommendations can be made based on the species' status, its abundance, and distribution: 

Extinct (EX): There is no reasonable doubt that the last individual has died.

Extinct in the Wild (EW): Known only to survive in captivity or as a naturalized population well outside the past range.

Critically Endangered (CR): An extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

Endangered (EN): Facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.

Vulnerable (VU): Facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

Near Threatened (NT): Not in one of the categories above, but is close to qualifying for or is likely to be in a threatened category in the near future.

Least Concern (LC): Not in one of the categories above. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category. 

Your continuing interest and participation in efforts to save whales and all marine mammals is appreciated. We thank you for signing our petitions and sending emails about issues affecting the oceans and animals.  


Please consider membership and contributions to our organization. Thank you.



Maris Sidenstecker I
Co-Founder - Save The Whales
501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

Save The Whales

Voted Top-Rated Green Nonprofit 2011 

May 17, 2012 

Sing to

Save The Whales


Please join us for the annual Sing to Save The Whales Day. Children and adults from around the world are requested to raise their voices in song for whales and marine mammals.  

  We invite ecology clubs, workplaces, schools, church groups, classrooms, individuals, and organizations. In  other words, EVERYONE!      

  Nine years ago, Joan Cobb, songwriter and music teacher, wrote Save The Whales song. After it was heard on our website, worldwide requests were received for the song and that led to the creation of a CD, Songs to Heal Our Planet: Children Singing to Save the Earth.

  Please sing along and then add your name or the name of your group to the Guest Book.  We hope we'll hear from you! 




10 Most Common Types of Ocean Trash
A survey from the 2011 International Coastal Cleanup reports the TOP TEN trash items:

1. Cigarette butts
2. Caps/lids
3. Plastic beverage bottles
4. Plastic bags
5. Food wrappers and containers
6.  Cups, plates, forks, knives, spoons
7.  Glass beverage bottles
8.  Straws, stirrers
9.   Beverage cans
10. Paper bags

 In addition, volunteers found reptiles, birds, invertebrates, mammals, fish and coral species, fishing line, plastic bottles and other trash.

  If you don't have an ocean near you, help by cleaning up lakes, rivers and streams where you live.  

New Save The Whales' Classroom Presentation

Save The Whales has added a new program to its Whales on Wheels (WOW™) education series.The Amazing Lives of Sea Turtles is offered in California to Monterey and Santa Cruz County classrooms. The program was developed by Thomas Kieckhefer, M.Sc with funding from the Nancy Buck Ransom Foundation and Save The Whales' members.  

  This interactive program explores sea turtle evolution, anatomy, and conservation. Hands-on activities include: identifying the seven species of sea turtles using a collection of turtle skulls and artifacts, determining feeding techniques and diet, and exploring their life cycle. Students learn about sea turtle ecology and fishing practices affecting their survival, illegal shell trading/egg poaching, and oil pollution and marine debris. Every person can help sea turtles by not releasing balloons into the air, keeping plastic litter out of streets and storm drains, and participating in beach clean-ups.

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Save The Whales
1192 Waring St.

Seaside CA 93955



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