The Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment has launched a call for applications for the 2020 Orca Fund to support projects designed to improve the water quality and/or aquatic habitat of Puget Sound.
In selecting projects, the Rose Foundation has elected to focus the funding towards efforts related to the protection of the endangered Southern Resident Orcas (SRO), the only endangered population of orcas in the United States. Although the SRO’s historic range extends from central California to southeast Alaska, their home waters center in Puget Sound and the Salish Sea, and threats to salmon and aquatic habitat in these waters create immense pressure on this region’s beleaguered and culturally vital icon.
Projects are encouraged that:
- Contribute to ongoing studies to create current individual health assessments and long-term health monitoring of the Southern Resident Orca (SRO) Distinct Population segment.
- Use noninvasive methods to collect and analyze biological samples to assess proximate health parameters (i.e. stress hormones, nutrition hormones, pregnancy hormones, toxicant levels, and other environmental factors like microplastics).
- Collect behavioral data to assess critical habitat use throughout the SRO’s range (i.e. important areas for resting, foraging, socializing).
- Contribute to a better understanding of SRO food sources and promote a stronger wild food web to sustain SROs.
Preference will be extended to projects that:
- Advance the knowledge and conservation of endangered Southern Resident Orcas with a primary focus on research projects to monitor the physiological health of the SRO Distinct Population Segment and further the understanding of the limiting factors that contribute to the population’s decline.
- Proposes long-term monitoring of SRO health and related issues.
- Articulate an outreach or educational component which utilizes project data to advocate for policies or regulations which would improve the health of Southern Resident Orcas.
- Include the robust participation of community-based organizations.
- For the current funding round, applications of any size up to $75,000 will be accepted.
- Multi-year projects are allowed, with a maximum allowable overall project duration of 5 years.
- Applicants must be a US 501(c)3, fiscally-sponsored by a 501(c)3, a governmental or tribal entity, or a Canadian registered charitable organization. University applicants are limited to a maximum 5% general university overhead load, and university applicants are strongly encouraged to include a community-based partner in their project.
- Projects must be centered on improving the water quality and/or aquatic habitat within the general SRO home range (Puget Sound, Salish Sea, ocean waters and straits from north of Vancouver Island to Central California). If research is conducted outside of the Puget Sound Area, the applicant must provide justification for the geographic location of the research and must demonstrate how this research will benefit the Southern Resident Orcas and their habitat in the Puget Sound, Salish Sea and surrounding waters.
For more information, visit https://rosefdn.org/orca-fund/