Who We Are

Whales, dolphins, and porpoises (collectively known as ‘cetaceans’) enchant us with their grace, intelligence, and beauty, and have an exceptional ability to inspire people and serve as ambassadors for marine conservation.  And yet these magnificent creatures face more threats today than ever before – from entanglement in marine debris and fishing gear, ship strikes, noise pollution, climate change, ocean acidification, contaminants, loss of habitat and whaling.

The American Cetacean Society believes that the solution to these and other threats facing cetaceans begins with education.  ACS is a 501(c)(3) organization concerned with the welfare, protection, and safety of whales, dolphins, porpoises, and the ocean and riverine habitats in which they live.  We accomplish our goals of protecting these unrivaled sovereigns of the sea through developing public education initiatives, funding research projects, and implementing conservation actions aimed at protecting cetaceans in their natural environments.

ACS addresses cetacean issues wherever they occur. We are a national organization with local chapters in California (Los Angeles, Monterey, Orange County, San Diego, and San Francisco), Washington (Puget Sound), Oregon (Newport), as well as a Student Coalition based out of Indiana University Bloomington and members in almost every state and 13 countries.  Our network of scientific advisors, volunteers, and members works tirelessly and passionately to campaign for national and international protection for whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

Bringing People Closer to Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises

ACS is far more than a conservation organization – we build communities of members – uniting caring people in a common purpose – protecting whales, dolphins, and porpoises.  In doing so, we build hope that ‘tomorrow’s child’ will live in a world where these magnificent creatures continue to thrill the hearts of people and inspire a sense of awe and commitment to stewardship.

We Do This by Using Funds Raised to Support Campaigns and Projects that Make a Difference!

ACS Educates:  We serve as a bridge between science and lay communities and develop innovative, interactive education programs through whale watch naturalist programs, expert presentations at chapters, speakers bureau, festivals and events, classroom curricula, social media, websites, and more.

ACS Funds:  We influence the future of cetacean science by issuing small grants-in-aid of research to high-priority conservation initiatives around the world, such as ¡Viva Vaquita!, a coalition of three nonprofit organizations spearheaded by ACS in an effort to catapult the vaquita porpoises, the world’s most endangered cetacean, into the international spotlight (www.vivavaquita.org).

ACS Advises:  We advise government officials and decision-makers with sound advice based on a solid foundation of the best available science and policy information, coupled with ethical and legal perspectives.

ACS Collaborates:  We have taken a leadership role in the Whales Need Us (WNUS) coalition, a multi-NGO partnership aimed at directing and strengthening U.S. policy in international whale conservation issues, by engaging directly with International Whaling Commission (IWC) delegates, government agency officials, attorneys, and interest groups on issues such as commercial whaling, international trade, diplomatic priorities, and resolutions.

ACS Inspires:  Our biennial conferences are widely regarded among the most well-known cetologists, marine policy makers, and conservation practitioners as being the most productive, inspiring, and fertile venues for innovative and creative thinking regarding ‘the way forward’ in cetacean research, conservation, and policy.  By bringing together the most prolific, productive, and collaborative minds in the business, ACS helps to influence the direction of cetacean and marine policy.

2015 SF Bay ACS Chapter Grant Awardee from the Orange County Community Foundation

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American Cetacean Society – San Francisco Bay Area Chapter

is honored and happy to announce we have received a Grant from the Orange County Community Foundation to support Student Research, Education, and Speakers.

We look forward to developing further programs with this generous grant. Be sure to follow our development on our website.


Lynette R. Koftinow

Research and Consultant
American Cetacean Society
San Francisco Bay Area Chapter