WHALES ARE "CHARISMATIC MEGAFAUNA" - big critters that captivate our hearts and imagination – and learning about how they live and interact with their environment can open our minds to many important conservation issues.
Each summer, AWF engages thousands of people on tour vessels and in Alaskan communities with whale-centered presentations and lectures. These serve to introduce people to the amazing critters that inhabit the coastal waters of Southeast Alaska, but equally, they raise awareness of conservation concerns, such as climate change, anthropogenic noise and marine mammal/fisheries interactions, that face the region. And when people are informed, they're more likely to support necessary conservation efforts. The organization is expanding its outreach program by establishing a permanent research and education center and developing a citizen-science program that will educate tourists while involving them in collecting important marine mammal data.