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75: A Story about Whales, Fish, and Trees

Entered in Environment & Sustainability


The objective of this film and reforestation project is to restore healthy habitats for the Southern Resident Orca. One Tree Planted partnered with local organization Promise the Pod to plant over 1.5 million trees in the Pacific Northwest, specifically along the rivers and streams that house salmon populations.

This initiative has brought crucial awareness to the public about the Endangered Orca, and about how everything in nature is connected. Reforestation may not be the first thing that comes to mind for a solution to restoring an oceanic ecosystem, but it should be.

Planting trees around the waters that feed into Orca habitats reduces water pollution, protects salmon spawning grounds, and improves Orca food supply. We have identified critical forest areas that need to be restored to have the greatest possible impact on the well-being of the Orca. If you recall a news story from 2 years ago about an Orca named Tahlequah, also known as J35, who swam with her deceased calf as she grieved for 17 days, this is the whale community we are hoping to support.

What Tahlequah didn’t know was that her sorrow sparked awareness around the world for the endangered Southern Resident Orca, and trees are a significant part of creating healthier habitats in these ecosystems.

In recent good news, Tahlequah has just had another baby, who is thus far thriving. Our work has only just begun, but it is incredibly uplifting to know that there is hope in preserving the wildlife we all love.

Strategy and Execution

We knew it was important to create education around the connection between whales and trees, so our talented video team went to Oregon to meet with local partners, interview experts, and summarized the story through a compelling video documentary. The video is moving, informative, and puts into context the value of these important ecosystems and how we can act to protect biodiversity.

We coupled that with online content, social media posts, and ongoing communications to our extended community as well as private donors. Through a wide range of content and personal conversations we have elevated the visibility for this initiative, have mobilized close to 1 million dollars in funding, and have shifted public perception about the environment and its diverse yet interconnected ecological niches.


Perhaps one of the most inspiring aspects of this initiative is the overwhelming volunteer response from the Pacific Northwest community. Over 900 volunteers came out to get their hands in the dirt and plant trees for Orca Recovery Day on October 17th. These volunteers included everyone from The Girls scouts, Oregon State University Students, to locals who just love their home. From home, One Tree Planted has made it simple to get involved. For every $1 donated, we plant one tree making it accessible for just about anyone to make a positive environmental impact.

866,221 trees have already been planted since the start of 2019 with more in progres currently.

1,698 total acres have been restored.

Primary reforestation occurred in Oregon and Washington states.

Over 40 local reforestation partners have participated.

At least 2,000 donors have contributed. 


Video for 75: A Story about Whales, Fish, and Trees

Entrant Company / Organization Name

One Tree Planted


Entry Credits