It was a fun and educational evening for WA NAMERS at the recent Whale Trail event at West Seattle’s C&P Coffeehouse on December 4, 2018. Celebrating the return of the Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) to Puget Sound, The Whale Trail, hosted an evening of presentations dedicated to our favorite, local cetaceans. Led by Whale Trail Founder and Director, Donna Sandstrom, the evening started off with a talk by Marc Sears and his daughter Maya, who have been documenting SRKW activities off of West Seattle for over forty years. They spoke about K-Pod’s recent visit to our waters, discussing how they assess the apparent health of the animals, including how they collect their fecal samples (that’s science folks). But the highlight was a GoPro video of an astounding recent display by K-Pod off of Alki Point, complete with breaches, tail lobs and spy hops. It left the whole crowd speechless.

The final presentation, by Dr. Clement Furlong (U.W. Professor of Genome Sciences), looked at how marine mammals are at particular risk to contamination by organophosphate pesticides because they lack the genes necessary for detoxification. Unfortunately, these pesticides, particularly Chlorpyrifos, are still widely used are certainly making their way into Puget Sound. Dr. Furlong encouraged everyone there to contact their representatives to get these chemicals banned, not just for the orcas’ sake, but for our health as well. For more on Dr. Furlong’s research on the effects of organophosphates, follow this link.

After the event, several of us met a local watering hole for a recap of the evening’s lessons and to discuss future WA NAME events, including WA NAME 2019 next August in Pt. Townsend, WA. If you’d like to get involved in future WA NAME events, including preparation for WA NAME 2019, feel free to contact Woody Moses (wmoses@highline.edu) or Maile Sullivan (mailesul@uw.edu). Hope to see next time!

Please join us for State of the Salish Sea—A Virtual Tour with Chrys Bertolotto, Natural Resource Programs Manager, WSU Snohomish County Extension.

Saturday February 4, 2017
12:00 pm – 12:45 pm

Highline College MaST Center (located near Redondo Beach Park)

The Salish Sea stretches from northern Vancouver Island south to Olympia, Washington and is nestled between the Cascade and Olympic Mountains.  Come learn about the coastal processes that shape the landforms we see, as well as glimpse the wide diversity of animals that the region supports.  We’ll assess several of the environmental indicators of health for the region and consider actions we can all take to leave a positive legacy of clean water, robust wildlife populations and natural areas that we can all enjoy.

For directions and more information on the MaST Center please visit http://mast.highline.edu/

Photo by Gary Purves

Date: Saturday, January 28 – Sunday, January 29, 2017

Address: 5400 N Pearl St., Tacoma, WA

Cost: $30 NAME members & $40 Non-NAME members, if registered by January 13th.

Kids under 2 are free and kids under 10 are half price. All you have to do is e-mail: wmoses@highline.edu  to get your spot reserved and then pay at the door. Overnight fee is a donation to Washington NAME and pays for your dinner. Registration after January 13th or at the door is $40 member and $50 non-member.

Space is limited!! Please register before January 13th so we know you are coming!!