SR3, a Des Moines-based non-profit organization that focuses on response, rehabilitation, and research of local marine wildlife in the Salish Sea, along with the Kirkpatrick Foundation, of Oklahoma City, will hold a virtual event on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020 to announce and launch a new partnership and “sister community” to honor the connection between Tahlequah, Okla. and Tahlequah, or J-35, a member of the southern resident J-Pod.

The event – which is free and open to all – will be held via Zoom on Monday, from 9:30 – 10:15 a.m. (details below).

In the summer of 2018, Tahlequah gave birth to a calf that died shortly after it was born. The grieving mother carried its body on her rostrum for 17 days, and captured the world’s attention. The orca became a mother again this past September after successfully delivering what seems to be a healthy calf.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the successful birth of a calf to Tahlequah, a significant, hopeful step toward revitalizing a group that is near extinction,” said Louisa McCune, Executive Director, Kirkpatrick Foundation. “In Oklahoma, we recognize the connection between our own Illinois River and city of Tahlequah—where environmental and animal protection has a vibrant history—and the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales.”

“This partnership will support SR3’s Southern Resident health assessment research and connect Oklahoma-based ocean enthusiasts to the coastal waters of the Pacific Northwest,” said Casey Mclean, SR3 Executive Director and Veterinary Nurse. No matter where you live we all have a role in protecting our oceans; forging connections like this is an essential part of building and maintaining healthy ecosystems.”

Here are details for Monday’s Zoom press conference:

WHO: SR3 and The Kirkpatrick Foundation

WHAT: Zoom Press Conference announcing partnership and “Sister Community” to Support the Southern Resident Killer Whales

WHEN: Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, from 9:30 a.m. -10:15 a.m. PST

LOGIN: Please join the virtual news conference using the following Zoom link:


Meeting ID: 864 4430 6738
Passcode: 387222

Zoom Press Conference Speakers:

    • Louisa McCune, Executive Director, Kirkpatrick Foundation3
    • Casey Mclean, Executive Director and Veterinary Nurse, SR 3
    • Holly Fearnbach Ph.D., Marine Mammal Research Director, SR
    • Mayor Matt Pina, City of Des Moines, Mayor Sue Catron of Tahlequah, Okla.
    • Ed Brocksmith, Secretary/Treasurer, Save the Illinois River

More info on SR3 is here:

SR3 is located at 2003 S. 216th Street in Des Moines: