Orlando, FL, USA (May 19, 2015) – SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. today announced a commitment of $1.5 million over three years to a new partnership with The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) through the Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program (KWRCP). Support of the KWRCP is part of SeaWorld’s $10 million pledge to fund research and conservation for killer whales in the wild – the largest private commitment of its kind.
The KWRCP will focus on three strategies: increasing prey availability; improving habitat quality; and strengthening management through crucial research. NFWF will seek to match this commitment with additional public and private dollars and plans to release an initial Request for Proposals (RFP) June 8 in conjunction with the global celebration of World Oceans Day.
“SeaWorld and the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund have long supported organizations that focus on results-driven, on-the-ground research and conservation work,” said Joel Manby, president and chief executive officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. “NFWF has a longstanding reputation for working efficiently and effectively to conserve species and their habitats and we are looking forward to working together to protect wild killer whale populations.”
The program is dedicated primarily to providing support to aid in the recovery of the endangered Southern Resident killer whale population found in the coastal waters of Washington State and surrounding areas, known as the Salish Sea.
“Killer whales are amazing animals and as a species at the top of the food chain, they play a key role in the health of the ocean ecosystem,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “We are excited to be a partner with SeaWorld, a company with a long-term commitment to conservation efforts, in this critical effort to help restore the populations of killer whales found in the Pacific Northwest.”
As part of SeaWorld’s $10 million commitment, multiple killer whale projects are already underway through funding provided by the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund (SWBGCF). These projects include:
For more information on SeaWorld’s commitment to helping killer whales in the wild, visit SeaWorldCares.com.
In the coming weeks and months, NFWF will enter into important public-private partnerships that will include governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations and scientists to develop the KWRCP and scientific platform. For more information on the Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program, please visit http://www.nfwf.org/killerwhales.
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