Two Southern Resident killer whales swimming in the Salish Sea

NFWF Announces Release of Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program 2021 Request for Proposals

Southern Resident killer whales | Credit: NOAA Fisheries

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 18, 2021) — In advance of World Whale Day on Sunday, February 21, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced the release of the 2021 Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program (KWRCP). The program, which was launched in 2015, is dedicated to studying and protecting killer whales in the wild. 

KWRCP grant pre-proposals are due April 8, 2021 and the full RFP can be found here. Awards are anticipated by November 2021.

The KWRCP focuses on three strategies: increasing prey availability, improving habitat quality and strengthening management through crucial research. In its first six years, the program has awarded 38 grants totaling $4.4 million, drawing an additional $8.4 million in grantee match for a total conservation investment of more than $12.8 million. The grants span all three of the priority strategies for the program and summaries are provided here.  

Competitive grants are reviewed by a public-private committee of government and academic experts, and funding decisions are based on the ability of the applicant to implement strategies that achieve the program priorities and result in measurable conservation outcomes.

Observed annually on the third Sunday in February, World Whale Day celebrates these amazing sea mammals and reminds us of the many challenges faced in our oceans across the globe.

Funding for the Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program is provided by SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and NOAA. Additional information about the program can be found here


About NFWF
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 5,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of $6.1 billion. Learn more at

Contact: Rob Blumenthal, 202-857-0166,