Photo by Jessica Newley, The Salish Sea: Jewel of the Pacific Northwest

The mission of the SeaDoc Society is to ensure the health of marine wildlife and their ecosystems through science and education. Our office is based on Orcas Island in the Salish Sea. 


WHAT WE DO

Founded in 2000, the SeaDoc Society conducts and sponsors vital scientific research in the inland waters of the Pacific Northwest, also known as the Salish Sea. This rich and vibrant ecosystem is home to 37 species of mammals, 172 species of birds, 253 species of fish, and more than 3,000 species of invertebrates. Nearly eight million people make this region their home today while billions of dollars are generated annually by Salish Sea commercial and recreational activities.

The SeaDoc Society conducts and sponsors ground-breaking marine research to uncover the environmental factors threatening to unravel the web of life in the Salish Sea and surrounding watersheds.

And while performing world-class research is of paramount importance, ensuring that our findings effect positive change is just as vital. We think of ourselves as arbiters of truth in matters of ocean health, and it's a role we take seriously. 

One of SeaDoc’s unique strengths is translating science into action. We act as a catalyst—bringing together interested parties to share information, forge common understandings and design region-wide solutions.


Science helps guide us as we make personal, policy, and management decisions to improve the health of the Salish Sea. I absolutely love coming to work at SeaDoc everyday because the work we do has an impact. Plus, it’s fun!
— Dr. Joe Gaydos, SeaDoc Society Science Director

Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center

The SeaDoc Society is a flagship program of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center at the world-famous UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine—a powerful partnership that affords us support and collaborative opportunities with some of the brightest minds in their fields. 

SeaDoc also works in collaboration with the Wildlife Health Center to run the California Lost Fishing Gear Project, which has retrieved more than 100 tons of gear from California's coastal ocean. 

 
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HOW WE FULFILL OUR MISSION

  • Fund scientists annually to conduct important research on topics essential to the health of the region and its wildlife, including marine protected areas, invasive species and the effect of contaminants on marine organisms
  • Provide expertise and assistance in the areas of marine conservation and animal health through an on-site staff scientist and veterinarian
  • Conduct scientific research on key indicators of ecosystem health and ways to improve ecosystem health problems
  • Share information to ensure that important scientific data is available to managers, policymakers and concerned citizens
  • Facilitate collaboration among academic scientists, natural resource trustee agencies, private organizations and policymakers

We've compiled a list of local and regional organizations that are working to improve marine ecosystem health in the inland waters of the Pacific Northwest. The list contains first nations and tribes, government agencies, university marine labs and programs and non-governmental organizations.