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Subjects: NPT, PET, ANW

Save the Whales Says Goodbye to Beloved Leader

What's the Future of the Nonprofit?

SALINAS, Calif., Aug. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Save the Whales, a California-based nonprofit dedicated to preserving and protecting the ocean and its inhabitants for over 40 years, has lost its co-founder and president, Maris Sidenstecker I. She died of cancer at age 87.

"When Save the Whales began, we naïvely thought that if we stopped commercial whaling the whales would be saved! Instead, this became a lifelong mission for both my mother and I, and her vision was instrumental in moving us forward," says Maris Sidenstecker II, Executive Director of Save the Whales. "We are a small organization, and proof that a few people can make a difference. My mother would be proud of that legacy."

Maris I was passionate about inspiring students. Through innovative outreach programs in schools and the local community, Save the Whales continues to connect students to the importance of preserving marine life. To date, over 340,000 children have learned about whales through Whales on Wheels (WOWtm), a hands-on program taught by marine biologists that brings whale bones, marine mammal artifacts, and conservation messages to students.

"Our focus is on creating connections between land and sea. Even if you live far from the ocean, you can impact it. The water in your storm drains flows to creeks, rivers, and the sea, so any pesticides, plastic trash, or chemicals flowing through them can harm marine life," shares Sidenstecker II. "Balloons can travel for hundreds of miles and end up in the ocean, where marine animals ingest them, their stomachs clog up, and they starve to death. We are teaching students that everything is connected. And change can start with just one person."

The legacy of Maris Sidenstecker I lives on through the numerous achievements made protecting whales and marine life over the past 48 years, and the organization's continued efforts to educate the next generation.

"My mom always said, 'Do something every day," says Sidenstecker II. "Picking up a piece of plastic trash can save a marine animal. If you do something every day, eventually it becomes a big thing. That is how I will continue to honor her legacy: by doing something every day."

To learn more about Save the Whales and their conservation work, visit savethewhales.org.

Media Contact: Dana Reynolds
Phone: 207-749-3653
Email: [email protected]

SOURCE Save the Whales

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