You Can Adopt a Whale on the Oregon Coast, Thanks to Scientist

Published 04/27/2014

(Depoe Bay, Oregon) – You may be surprised to know you can adopt a whale on the Oregon coast.

That does not mean you get to take the great cetacean home with you. But it does mean you help fund local research into the many whales of the area – and you get some fun keepsakes for yourself about one of these beautiful beasts.

Carrie Newell, owner of Whale Research EcoExcursions and the Whale, Sealife and Shark Museum in Depoe Bay, started offering these a few years ago. She set it aside after a while but brought it back in the last year.

You pay $40 to adopt what they call a “resident” gray whale. In turn, you get an 8x10 picture of your whale, a write up of its history, a certificate with your name and the whale you adopted, your name on the Whale Wall, one coupon for 20% off a whale watching trip and 2 passes into the Whale, Sealife and Shark Museum.

Schools and other groups can get educational talks on whales with the adoption package.

There's a list of those available for adopting. These include: Scarback, Rambolina, Zebra Stripe, Nifer, Lucky, Fishbone. Morisa, Dotsee, Doorknob, Bullseye, DD, Jenny Lace, McFlurry, Stretch, Milky Way, Eagle Eye, U-Fish, Comet, Ice Cap, Splotch, Ridgeback, Blanco, 8-ball, Starfish (Sea Star) and O'Valentine.

“Those are the ones that more commonly return to the coast,” Newell said. “We want people to be able to see their whales.”

The money helps fund Newell's own research and her team, as well as helps her to give more educational talks about whales around the region.

“Sometimes we'll take people out on educational tours for free or for half price,” Newell said. “It helps sponsor that.”

Her research includes using interns, as they all head out to sea in a team of 10 or more, looking into the behavior and habits of Oregon coast whales. All that requires funding as well.

“We learn new stuff every year,” Newell said.

Newell is credited with making some sizable discovering about local whales back in 1999, when she was able to identify returning whales and especially what they were eating. Until then, scientists had no clue.

It turned out these local gray whales were feasting on mycid shrimp, which exist in separate pockets along the Oregon coast.

“The best one is off Depoe Bay,” Newell said.

To see more about adopting whales, see There is also an adoption wall at the Whale, Sea Life and Shark Museum in Depoe Bay. 541-912-6734.

More about Depoe Bay below, and at the Depoe Bay Virtual Tour, Map, including a photo of Newell's tour boat on a whale excursion.


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A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, saut�ed scallops.
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