September 2015 Update
I can't quite believe this amazing summer is practically over! I know we technically have 3 more weeks of summer, but biologically we're already seeing nesting seabirds mass as they fatten on herring and other forage fishes before heading to the open ocean for the winter, many birds are already wearing their winter plumage, and the eagles have gone to follow the salmon up the rivers. Like the tide, the seasons wait for nobody.
On a personal level, we have kids returning to school, some (like mine) are heading to college for the first time, and we are thinking about winter storms, fires in the wood stove, and all those books we're going to get to read this winter. Enjoy the change of seasons and remember to get out on the water -- or at least to the water's edge to witness some of that change firsthand. We spend a lot of time saving the ocean - we also need to remember to savor it!
Joe Gaydos
Chief Scientist and Regional Director
Searching for young of the year rockfish
Young copper rockfish by Janna Nichols
SeaDoc is working with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, REEF, and others to help NOAA design a citizen-driven project where SCUBA divers can collect data to help us learn more about newborn rockfish, known as "young of the year."
Last month, NOAA project lead Dr. Adam Obaza came up to the San Juans to dive with SeaDoc to test out the new dive protocol. Joe Gaydos, Dr. Obaza, and Jen Olson dove in kelp forests, eelgrass meadows, flat muddy bottom, and rocky reef sites to look for young rockfish and test out the survey methodology.
Why does SeaDoc care so much about recently hatched rockfish?
Get the answers
Wooden hats for harbor seals?
harbor seal pup with hat tag
This summer, SeaDoc / Stranding Network intern Lauren Zatorski Clarke, an Oregon State University veterinary student, collaborated with the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA, to come up with a more environmentally friendly way of tagging harbor seal pups.
We tag harbor seals to track their movements. Simple "hat" tags allow for easy re-sighting and are designed to fall off after about a year when the seal grows a new coat of fur. Instead of using the traditional plastic hats, which ultimately would fall off and add to already too much plastic pollution in the ocean, Lauren helped develop wooden tags that would biodegrade.
If you see a tagged pup in the water or hauled out, please call the San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 800-562-8832 and leave a message with the hat tag number and location. This helps us keep track of where the pups go. Just remember to stay 100 yards away.
On our website: Learn more about how and why we tag harbor seals and how the hats were made.
Shout out to our hardworking interns
Interns at auction
SeaDoc's summer interns are a fantastic bunch -- hardworking and fun to be around. We thank Alice Goble, Jacq Zier, Lauren Zatorski Clarke, Isabelle Plourde, and Kelly Muething for contributing so much to SeaDoc's efforts this summer! They helped with the Stranding Network, gave lectures for undergrad classes, helped maintain boats, worked on various research projects and even assisted us at our Wine and Sea Auction. Awesome job! Stay in touch. We also thank Bill and Lannie Hoglund for their on-going support providing a beautiful house for the interns!
How to make an automatic monthly donation to SeaDoc
Photo by Wayne Watson / USFWS
Looking for a budget-friendly way to support SeaDoc's vital work in the Salish Sea?
Try our new monthly recurring donation feature. You set it up once and it takes care of itself.
Go to our regular online donation page, click the "Donate Now" button, then pick an amount and toggle from "Now" to "Monthly." It's as easy as that.
We welcome any donation amount that fits your budget. Did you know that donating the $3 that you might spend on a latte every week adds up over $150 towards creating a healthy Salish Sea by the end of the year? Or that giving $83.34 a month will make you a member of our WildLifer's Club? This is a club of about 100 individuals and families that annually donate $1,000 or more to SeaDoc.
We also want to say a special thanks to a handful of donors who started making monthly donations before monthly donations were cool. Patricia (donating monthly since 2009), Andrea (donating monthly since 2011), and Cap (donating monthly since 2014) -- you guys rock!
Start your monthly donation
Harbor porpoise spotting days
Harbor porpoise by Roz Krumm
Colleagues at the Pacific Biodiversity Institute are hosting three free harbor porpoise spotting days in September in the Anacortes area. Join naturalists at Rosario Head in Deception Pass State Park (Sept 12th from 9am to 3pm & Sept 26th from 12pm to 3pm) or at Washington Park in Anacortes (Sept 19th from 12pm to 3pm).
This is a great chance to watch and learn about the elusive harbor porpoise. If you have a favorite pair of binoculars, bring them along.
Questions? Contact Anna Hallingstad at If you want more information about the Institute's work with harbor porpoises, go here:
Upcoming events
Salmon Homecoming for Long Live the Kings: Sept 19
Joe Gaydos will be sharing stories from The Salish Sea: Jewel of the Pacific Northwest at the annual Salmon Homecoming hosted by Long Live The Kings at the Glenwood Springs Field Station on Orcas Island. He'll also discuss how LLTK's work contributes to the health of the Salish Sea. 11am - 3:30pm. RSVP required by Sept 14 to or 206-382-9555
Book event at Robert Bateman Centre in Victoria's inner harbour: Sept 24 at 7pm
Join Joe Gaydos and Audrey Benedict for a book talk, Q and A, and signing featuring The Salish Sea: Jewel of the Pacific Northwest. Details at
Marine Science Lecture Series
Our annual community-supported Marine Science Lecture Series begins in October with a talk on ocean exploration by Timothy Dwyer. 7pm at the Emmanuel Parrish Hall in Eastsound.
This year's lecture series is sponsored by Tom & Nate Averna of Deer Harbor Charters, Barbara Brown, West Sound Marina, Dean & Audrey Stupke, Martha Wyckoff in honor of Lee Rolfe, and the WWW Foundation (Bryce and Sue Rhodes).The lecture series is co-sponsed by Barbara Bentley and Glenn Prestwich.
Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference: April 2016
The next Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference is April 13-16 in Vancouver BC. Details are here.
About SeaDoc
The SeaDoc Society uses science to find solutions to the problems facing marine ecosystems. Our work focuses on the Salish Sea, one of the most ecologically productive inland seas in the world. The Salish Sea extends from Olympia, Washington to Campbell River, BC., and is home to over 8 million people.
We are a program of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, a center of excellence at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
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