NOAA 2005-053
Contact: David Miller
NOAA News Releases 2005
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The NOAA documentary “Saving Springer: Orphan Orca” received an Emmy award from the Boston/New England Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Presented during the 28th Annual Boston/New England Emmy Awards ceremony on May 7, 2005, the film was selected from a field of eight nominees in the category “Outstanding Achievement in an Information Program.”

The Saving Springer documentary chronicles a remarkable and inspirational story demonstrating the work that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration does on a daily basis.

During the winter of 2002, the young orphaned killer whale was first seen in Puget Sound. The animal was alone, malnourished and started to interact with a local passenger ferry and other boats in the area. Recognizing the hazard this activity presented to the whale and local boaters, NOAA Fisheries assembled a team of experts to investigate the situation.

After extensive research and consultation, NOAA Fisheries decided that Springer’s best chance for long-term survival in the wild called for a sequence of events never before attempted. In June 2002 the NOAA team rescued, conducted a medical evaluation and implemented appropriate treatment to nurse the orphaned orca back to health. Within 30 days after her capture, Springer was transported to Johnstone Strait in British Columbia and successfully rejoined her family.

The documentary has aired on 90 Public Television Stations around the Nation over the past several months. The program was produced over an 18-month period by a NOAA Public Affairs team and is the first NOAA-produced documentary to win an Emmy.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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