PLATINUM2022

WHALE SANCTUARY PROJECT

Back to nature

aka Whale Sanctuary   |   Kanab, UT   |  www.whalesanctuary.org
GuideStar Charity Check

WHALE SANCTUARY PROJECT

EIN: 81-2276219


Mission

We work to transform the way people relate to whales and dolphins by bringing an end to their exploitation and by creating seaside sanctuaries, assisting with international marine mammal rescues, and advancing whale and dolphin science.

Ruling year info

2016

President

Dr. Lori Marino

Executive Director

Charles Vinick

Main address

4100 Kanab Canyon Road

Kanab, UT 84741 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-2276219

Subject area info

Wildlife sanctuaries

Animal welfare

Population served info

Adults

NTEE code info

Wildlife Sanctuary/Refuge (D34)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Tax forms

Show Forms 990

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We are working to transform the way people relate to whales and dolphins by bringing an end to their exploitation and by creating seaside sanctuaries, assisting with international marine mammal rescues, and advancing whale and dolphin science.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

To create and operate a model seaside sanctuary in North America for orcas and beluga whales.

For details of the plan to create and then operate the sanctuary, please see our website at www.whalesanctuary.org .

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of captive animals released

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

See the "Whale Aid" section on our website for details of Whale Aid Russia - the largest whale rescue in history.

Peer-reviewed papers regarding effects of captivity on whales

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

To create and operate a model seaside sanctuary in North America for orcas and beluga whales.

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of visitors at Operations & Visitors Centre

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

To create and operate a model seaside sanctuary in North America for orcas and beluga whales.

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of briefings or presentations held

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

To create and operate a model seaside sanctuary in North America for orcas and beluga whales.

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

To create and operate a gold-standard coastal sanctuary where cetaceans (whales and dolphins) can live in an environment that maximizes well-being and autonomy and is as close as possible to their natural habitat. It is being designed to serve as a model for many more that can then be built all over the world in the coming years.

As the first sanctuary of its kind anywhere in the world, this is a pioneering effort that began with a two-year search on both sides of the North American continent for the most suitable location. Everything we learn, as we complete each stage of the project, is not only essential to the construction and operation of this sanctuary; it will also act as a blueprint to inform the creation of other much-needed sanctuaries for captive cetaceans throughout the world.

In January, 2020, having completed a comprehensive search, we announced that we had selected Port Hilford, Nova Scotia as the best site for a coastal cetacean sanctuary.

Our objective is to welcome whales by the end of 2023 and to transport the first whales as soon as possible after that. Of course, in any new, pioneering effort, there are always considerations that require adjusting our schedule as we go along. (See the regular updates on the website at www.whalesanctuary.org for progress reports.)

OTHER KEY PROGRAMS

Through our Whale Aid Programs, we assist in marine mammal rescues and work with governments, corporations and NGOs to bring an end to keeping whales and dolphins in captivity.

Through our research, regular online webinars, and work with schools we advance whale and dolphin science and public education.

1. Engaging with the local community by establishing an operations and visitors center, a community liaison committee, a social media presence and twice-monthly updates in the local newspaper. (Completed)
2. Completing the required two-year analysis of the waters in and around the sanctuary site in Port Hilford Bay to document water depths and pressures through the seasons. Other analyses include testing the water chemistry, salinity, and temperature gradients; studying currents, tides, waves and surges; and determining optimum locations on the seabed for anchoring the sanctuary net structure. These studies give us a comprehensive understanding of the environment for the whales, as well as providing data to government agencies for the many permits required for a project of this magnitude.
3. Completing the analysis of soil and rock in lands that border the sanctuary waters. As well as providing data to government agencies for the necessary permits, these studies inform our decisions for siting of sanctuary buildings, infrastructure, and placement of each end of the sanctuary net structure.
4. Obtaining offer of lease from the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables, making available to the sanctuary a total water space of 200 acres. (Completed)
5. Engaging with architects and engineering contractors for the establishing of sanctuary structures and infrastructure.
6. Broadening fundraising campaign from operational costs to capital costs of building the sanctuary and ensuring long term care of the whales.
7. Developing protocols for assessing whale candidacy for transfer to the sanctuary.
8. Engaging with marine entertainment parks and aquariums to begin selection of whales who are potential candidates for transfer to the sanctuary.
9. Developing and enacting protocols for transfer to the sanctuary.
10. Eventually creating a public Interpretive Center.

Our founder and president, Dr. Lori Marino, is a neuroscientist and expert in animal behavior and intelligence, formerly on the faculty of Emory University. She is internationally known for her work on the evolution of the brain and intelligence in dolphins and whales (as well as primates and farmed animals).

Our executive director, Charles Vinick, brings extensive experience in environmental policy, project management and government relations. He shepherded the growth of the Cousteau Society and served as director of the Keiko Project, reintroducing to the wild the captive orca made famous through the "Free Willy" films.

Our staff and advisors bring expertise to every aspect of our mission.

Note: The Whale Sanctuary is a unique project. There is no model for it to follow and there are no existing standards for whale or dolphin sanctuaries. As such, we are sharing details of all our methodology and plans the Global Federation of Sanctuaries and any other accrediting agencies so that, from beginning to end, there is a full record of what is involved in establishing a sanctuary. That is what we mean when we say that our goal is to be the gold standard for future sanctuaries.

By the end of 2022, we will have completed the two-year environmental analysis of sanctuary waters.

We are close to completing the analysis of soil and rock that make up sanctuary lands.
We have received the offer of lease from the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables, making available to the sanctuary a total water space of 200 acres.

We have completed fundraising for the purchase of sanctuary lands.

We are working with architects and engineering contractors for the establishing of sanctuary structures and infrastructure.

In October 2021, the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia led the opening of our Operations & Visitors Centre in Sherbrooke, NS. We maintain close relations with community, provincial, federal and tribal authorities.
We have purchased the work boat that will be used to complete environmental studies, for construction of the sanctuary’s perimeter net, and for maintaining other structures on the water.

Since the Whale Sanctuary Project is a U.S. non-profit organization, we have also incorporated Whale Sanctuary Canada, among whose board members is Hon. Wilfred Moore, who, as Senator Moore, introduced Senate Bill S-203, which in 2019 was passed into law by an overwhelming vote in Parliament as the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act. (Several Whale Sanctuary team members testified at the Senate hearings.)

WHALE AID PROGRAMS

A major example of our Whale Aid programs was Whale Aid Russia, the largest whale rescue in history. The Whale Sanctuary Project worked with the Russian government and Russian animal protection groups to return to the ocean 10 orcas and 87 beluga whales who had been captured illegally for sale to marine entertainment parks in China. On November 10th, 2019, the last group of whales were back where they belonged and the notorious “whale jail” was finally closed.

Our major Whale Aid program of 2022 is in support of the orca Tokitae (better known by her stage name “Lolita”) at the Miami Seaquarium. The new owners of the Seaquarium have retired her from display and are working with non-profit groups to determine what will offer her the highest quality of life going forward. Our primary roles in this are a) providing operational and logistics advice and expertise for purposes of addressing Tokitae’s health and welfare needs.

EDUCATION PROGRAMS

We work closely with teachers and students to bring knowledge and understanding of cetaceans to people young and old.

An example of this in 2022 was at Schluter Elementary School in Haslet, Texas, where teachers worked with over a hundred 4th and 5th grade students on their “Showcase Art, Not Whales & Dolphins” art show fundraiser in support of the Whale Sanctuary Project.


Financials

WHALE SANCTUARY PROJECT
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
NET GAIN/LOSS:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

8.91

Average of 8.25 over 6 years

Months of cash in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

24

Average of 10.9 over 6 years

Fringe rate in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

8%

Average of 7% over 6 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

Source: IRS Form 990 info

WHALE SANCTUARY PROJECT

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

WHALE SANCTUARY PROJECT

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

WHALE SANCTUARY PROJECT

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

This snapshot of WHALE SANCTUARY PROJECT’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $360,197 $288,898 $222,703 -$289,514 $748,582
As % of expenses 98.4% 48.1% 26.8% -38.4% 94.6%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $360,197 $288,898 $222,703 -$289,514 $748,582
As % of expenses 98.4% 48.1% 26.8% -38.4% 94.6%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $726,149 $889,414 $1,052,735 $463,835 $1,540,232
Total revenue, % change over prior year 109.3% 22.5% 18.4% -55.9% 232.1%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% -0.1% 0.0%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 6.2%
All other grants and contributions 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.1% 93.8%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $365,952 $600,516 $830,032 $753,349 $791,650
Total expenses, % change over prior year 34.6% 64.1% 38.2% -9.2% 5.1%
Personnel 46.6% 46.1% 33.3% 34.9% 28.0%
Professional fees 29.8% 35.6% 43.0% 49.6% 48.3%
Occupancy 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.2%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 23.6% 18.3% 23.7% 15.5% 23.5%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Total expenses (after depreciation) $365,952 $600,516 $830,032 $753,349 $791,650
One month of savings $30,496 $50,043 $69,169 $62,779 $65,971
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $396,448 $650,559 $899,201 $816,128 $857,621

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Months of cash 5.5 4.3 14.4 13.5 24.0
Months of cash and investments 5.5 4.3 14.4 13.5 24.0
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 14.3 14.5 13.7 10.5 21.3
Balance sheet composition info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Cash $166,582 $215,223 $998,877 $847,455 $1,582,828
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $302,077 $526,414 $29,000 $33,423 $575
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 7.1% 2.4% 7.9% 25.4% 11.2%
Unrestricted net assets $435,187 $724,085 $946,788 $657,274 $1,405,856
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total net assets $435,187 $724,085 $946,788 $657,274 $1,405,856

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Material data errors No No No No No

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Documents
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

President

Dr. Lori Marino

Dr. Lori Marino is the co-Founder and President of The Whale Sanctuary Project, which is working to establish a model seaside sanctuary for whales and dolphins retired from captivity, where they can live in an environment that's as close as possible to their natural habitat.

Dr. Marino is a neuroscientist and expert in animal behavior and intelligence, formerly on the faculty of Emory University. She is internationally recognized for her work on the evolution of the brain and intelligence in dolphins and whales, and has published more than 100 empirical and review papers on dolphin and primate brain evolution and behavior, and human-nonhuman animal relationships, including the psychological and philosophical bases of animal exploitation.

Dr. Marino is also the Founder and Director of The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy, which focuses on bridging the gap between academic research and scholarship and on-the-ground animal advocacy efforts.

Executive Director

Charles Vinick

For 25 years, Charles worked closely with Jean-Michel and Jacques Cousteau (during his lifetime), helping the ocean explorers establish, grow and sustain multiple initiatives. As an adviser to and cofounder of the Cousteau Centers, Inc., Charles oversaw development of and managed Parc Oceanique Cousteau in Paris, and shepherded the growth of the Cousteau Society and, from 1993 through 2003, served as Executive Vice President of the Jean-Michel Cousteau Institute and Ocean Futures Society. He was privileged to serve as director of the highly-publicized Keiko Project, a pioneering effort that marshaled public and media support to reintroduce to the wild the captive orca made famous through the Free Willy films. Charles also previously served as CEO of two environmental technology companies, Florida-based Ecosphere Technologies, Inc., and Aquantis, Inc. in Santa Barbara. Charles currently serves on the Board of Directors of Heal the Ocean, and Ocean Futures Society.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

WHALE SANCTUARY PROJECT

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

WHALE SANCTUARY PROJECT

Board of directors
as of 12/01/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Dr. Lori Marino

Whale Sanctuary Project

Naomi Rose

Animal Welfare Institute

David Phillips

Earth Island Institute

Charles Vinick

Whale Sanctuary Project.

Lori Marino

Whale Sanctuary Project

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/18/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

No data

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/05/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.