Farewell to SeaDoc Regional Director Markus Naugle

Since 2016, The SeaDoc Society has grown its impact and reach, expanding not only our scientific capacity but also launching our youth education program and accelerating outreach efforts. This heady time for SeaDoc has been led by Regional Director Markus Naugle.

This month, Markus announced his resignation as Regional Director from SeaDoc Society due to recent changes in his father’s health that require Markus’ help. Please join us in wishing Markus and his family all the best in this time of need.

Heavy Metals in Harbor Seals of the San Juan Islands

Heavy Metals in Harbor Seals of the San Juan Islands

Toxins of concern in the Salish Sea include persistent organic pollutants (like PCBs), hydrocarbons (from fuel), pharmaceutical compounds, and trace elements (including heavy metals).

Some elements (like copper, selenium, and calcium) are necessary for life at lower concentrations but can be toxic at higher levels. Other elements considered non-essential (like lead and mercury) also can be toxic to aquatic organisms at elevated concentrations. Monitoring trace element exposure in marine organisms is essential to assess potential risks to wildlife and humans.

Joe Gaydos Receives Local Hero Award at Friday Harbor Film Festival

Joe Gaydos Receives Local Hero Award at Friday Harbor Film Festival

SeaDoc Society Science Director Joe Gaydos received the Local Hero award at the Friday Harbor Film Festival over the weekend for his work with the SeaDoc Society and his involvement in the San Juan Islands community. He took a moment to thank the local supporters who have made SeaDoc’s work possible. For those who weren’t able to attend, we offer Joe’s thanks in this post.

Calling for 2020 Salish Sea Science Prize Nominations

Calling for 2020 Salish Sea Science Prize Nominations

Biennially, the SeaDoc Society awards the Salish Sea Science Prize to a prominent scientist or team of scientists whose work has resulted in the marked improvement of management or policy related to the conservation of marine wildlife and the Salish Sea marine ecosystem. Non-scientists who have used science in a substantial way to improve management or policy related to healing the Salish Sea also will be considered. This is the only award of its kind. The recipient(s) does not need to be a resident of Washington or British Columbia as long as their scientific efforts or use of science have led to measurable impacts on the Salish Sea ecosystem. The $2,000 prize comes with no strings attached and is designed to highlight the importance of science in providing a foundation for designing a healthy Salish Sea ecosystem. This award is given in recognition of and to honor Stephanie Wagner, who loved the region and its wildlife.

Salish Sea Wild: The Scoop on Southern Resident Killer Whales

Salish Sea Wild: The Scoop on Southern Resident Killer Whales

In this episode, Team SeaDoc works with scientists trying to save the Salish Sea’s most iconic and endangered species: the Southern Resident killer whale. The goal is to collect critical health and diet data from each of the 73 surviving animals. So how does a wildlife veterinarian make a house call to do non-invasive medical tests on 10-ton killer whales in the open sea? It takes sharp eyes and a fine mesh net.

Ocean Night: Winter 2019-2020 Schedule

Ocean Night is back for another awesome season at the Sea View Theatre! See you there!

Browse the schedule and join us for a free night of family-friendly science. We’ll keep the theatre nice and warm, so don’t let the cool weather and the early nights keep you at home. Ocean Night is a perfect opportunity to engage with the community during the down season.

Plastic Packing Strap Removed From Sea Lion's Neck

Plastic Packing Strap Removed From Sea Lion's Neck

The SeaDoc Society joined forced with the Vancouver Aquarium marine mammal rescue staff and officers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) last week at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve, a marine protected area near Sooke, on Vancouver Island. The teams were responding to reports of at least one Steller sea lion and one California sea lion seen entangled in plastic. 

On arrival by DFO boat to Race Rocks, and with the help of the Race Rocks Eco-Guardians, teams were able to spot a male Steller sea lion, weighing more than 1,000 pounds, with a plastic packing band wrapped tightly around its neck. The depth and severity of the wound indicated that the plastic had been there for some time.

Photos: REEF Divers Count Species Around Hornby Island

Photos: REEF Divers Count Species Around Hornby Island

This year REEF and SeaDoc Society’s Advanced Assessment Team was deployed at Hornby Island in British Columbia. The team spent a week doing REEF surveys of fish and invertebrates at the wonderful dive sites around Hornby Island in the Care of Hornby Island Diving. Visibility was quite good for most of the dive sites, reaching 60 feet a couple times. The Team did 10 dives at different sites and also added in a few dives right in front of the resort. This video by Ed Gullickson is just a few of the highlights of this effort.

Returning: Joe Gaydos on What Makes the Salish Sea Special

Returning: Joe Gaydos on What Makes the Salish Sea Special

The Salish Sea is a great example of a beautiful place where people and the natural world are dependent on one another. In scenic locales like protected national parks, people are not so much participating in nature as they are observing it. In the Salish Sea people are fishing, heating their homes with firewood, and more.

In this short segment is a “b-side” for the mini feature film, Returning. In the clip, SeaDoc Society Science Director Joe Gaydos reflects on what makes this ecosystem special.

Joe Gaydos to be Honored as Local Hero

Our Science Director, Joe Gaydos, will be honored with the Local Hero Award at the Friday Harbor Film Festival on San Juan Island this fall! The award will be presented at 7pm on October 27th, the final night of the festival. If you’re interested in attending the event, which takes place at the Whittier Theatre at the San Juan Community Theatre, check out their website for ticket information.

What the Loss of 3 Southern Resident Killer Whales Means

What the Loss of 3 Southern Resident Killer Whales Means

In early August, three Southern Resident killer whales were declared dead by the Center for Whale Research. That brings the population down to just 73. Each of the dead whales are from separate Southern Resident pods. 

“There is nothing good about losing three animals in a population that was numbered at 76,” said SeaDoc Science Director Joe Gaydos. “In no way can I find a silver lining to this news.”

Deep Green Wilderness Sets Sail to Find the Rarest Whale in the World

Deep Green  Wilderness Sets Sail to Find the Rarest Whale in the World

A local crew of sailors and marine scientists are leaving on an expedition this week to look for the rarest whale in the world, the North Pacific right whale.

The expedition will be led by Kevin Campion, founder of marine education nonprofit Deep Green Wilderness and member of SeaDoc Society’s Board of Directors. Campion and a crew of four are setting sail out of Dutch Harbor, Alaska on Wednesday, August 14, en route to the Bering Sea to continue their search for the rare whale.

Team SeaDoc Does the Salish Splash! (VIDEO)

The Salish Splash is an annual event that brings awareness to the Salish Sea and its many species. Our Science Director Joe Gaydos was challenged by Mindy Roberts of the Washington Environmental Council. After doing a backflip for this event last year, Joe wanted to take it up a notch, so he invited all of Team SeaDoc to join him for an even bigger splash! What better way to show your support and enthusiasm for orca recovery and Salish Sea health than by jumping for joy into the water?  

Where On Earth Is the Salish Sea?

Where On Earth Is the Salish Sea?

Less than half of the people in Washington and British Columbia have heard of the Salish Sea, even though they live alongside it.

That’s according to a recent study from The SeaDoc Society, a program of the University of California, Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine, and Oregon State University. The study reveals that only 5 percent of people in Washington and 14 percent of British Columbians can identify the Salish Sea—the marine ecosystem that spans the United States-Canada border and includes both Seattle and Vancouver.

Ocean Outbreak: Confronting the Rising Tide of Marine Disease (Book Review)

Ask any ocean lover to name the biggest threats to ocean conservation and you’ll get a list so long it will make you uncomfortable: derelict fishing gear, increasing underwater noise, invasive species, ocean acidification, overharvest, plastics, toxins, warming water, and so on.

What you probably won’t hear is the word disease—not because the agents of disease are microscopic and out of sight, but because we know so little about how they affect the marine environment. Most people have never thought of parasites and pathogens as agents of change or important ocean stressors.

Knowing, Connecting, and Protecting the Salish Sea (Joe Gaydos at Huxley College of the Environment)

Knowing, Connecting, and Protecting the Salish Sea (Joe Gaydos at Huxley College of the Environment)

Our Science Director Joe Gaydos spoke Western Washington early this year as part of their Huxley Speaker Series. He discussed the importance of having a sense of place when it comes to protecting an ecosystem like the Salish Sea. How can you work to protect something if you don’t first connect with it? Watch the presentation below to hear more. Thanks to Huxley College for hosting us!