About The PWLF

The Pacific WildLife Foundation is a federal not-for-profit society with charitable status registered in Canada (#891381444RR0001) that has been operating for over 30 years. We are based just east of Vancouver at the Reed Point Marine Education Centre, Reed Point Marina, 850 Barnet Highway, Port Moody, British Columbia V3H 1V6, Canada. Our mission is “to inspire conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems through scientific inquiry and education”.

Values and Objectives

We believe that the best advice is derived from objective scientific inquiry where

our activities are directed by the following six values. Marine and coastal ecosystems are worthy of protection; the public wants to sustain marine and coastal ecosystems; conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems requires reliable information upon which to base decisions; the best source of information for making decisions is derived from objective scientific inquiry; scientific information can be presented in such a way as to inspire appreciation and conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems; first hand experience is an effective way to educate.

Our objectives are to conduct original scientific research on the biology of coastal and marine ecosystems; present information that will inspire conservation and appreciation of coastal and marine ecosystems; and provide opportunities for others to experience coastal and marine ecosystems where conclusions are drawn from the data rather than opinion.


The origins of the Pacific WildLife Foundation are in the West Coast Whale Research Foundation (WCWRF) founded in 1980 to administer, support and conduct whale research and education programs. At that time, there were few similar research organizations in the world and none in British Columbia whose priority was the study of living whale populations. With generous public support, WCWRF met its mandate by contributing significantly to the first scientific descriptions of gray, humpback and killer whales in British Columbia and the North Pacific, and through education programs ranging from popular articles and books to the 1992 Gemini award winning documentary ‘Island of Whales’ narrated by Gregory Peck. Several prominent cetacean scientists operating in British Columbia today have their roots in the WCWRF. Prominent among them is Jim Darling whose pioneering research on whales was supported for many years by WCWRF. Rob Butler had been discussing with Tom Middleton the establishment of a non-profit devoted to marine research and in 2002 Rob approached Jim Darling for advice. At Jim’s suggestion, Rob, Jim, Tom, Ron Ydenberg, Dan Esler, Rod MacVicar, Rudi Kovanic, Gillian Darling and former WCWRF Board members Ian Semple and Kate Keogh began the transition of a new organization. In 2003, the WCWRF changed its name to Pacific WildLife Foundation to reflect a new and wider role.


The business of the Pacific WildLife Foundation is directed by a Board of Directors comprising of renowned scientists, educators, business people and communicators. Fellows and Associates include highly qualified and renowned marine scientists, educators, and communicators who volunteer for fixed terms to assist the Foundation meet its objectives.

Our funding is derived largely from research and education grants, private donations from individuals and businesses, and legacies. Pacific WildLife is run by a volunteer Board and Executive to keep the overhead small so that nearly all the money we raise can be used for the projects. Where allowed, we withhold 5 to 10% for administration and operations.