salish sea

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Exciting New Faces at SeaDoc Society!

Exciting New Faces at SeaDoc Society!

We’re excited to announce two exciting additions and (one transition) to the greater SeaDoc team!

Laura Donald is our newest member of the the Board of Directors and Marco Hatch and Marguerite Pappaioanou have joined our Science Advisory Committee. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have all three of them in these roles! Their insight and drive will be immensely valuable as we carve our way through 2019 and beyond with science as our foundation and new outreach and education opportunities on the horizon.

The Economic Impact of Killer Whales in the Salish Sea

The Economic Impact of Killer Whales in the Salish Sea

The Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) is a flagship species, a cultural icon, and an economic driver for Washington State. However, depleted Chinook salmon stocks, vessel-related noise and disturbance, and increasingly polluted waters put the orca population at risk of extinction. Efforts are underway to aid and support orca recovery, but these efforts are time consuming and expensive. 

SeaDoc Requests Scientific Proposals for Needed Research (2019)

SeaDoc Requests Scientific Proposals for Needed Research (2019)

Every year, the SeaDoc Society funds prominent scientists to conduct important research in the Salish Sea. Proposals for this year’s projects’ are due February 22 by 5pm. SeaDoc works to ensure the health of marine wildlife and their ecosystems through science and education and does not take policy positions nor serve in an advocacy role. This year the SeaDoc Society requests proposals only for projects that scientifically address one of the four priority topics below.

Making a Splash with the Kids of the Salish Sea

Making a Splash with the Kids of the Salish Sea

Junior SeaDoctors’ mission is to inspire and mobilize youth for a lifetime of ocean literacy, stewardship, and sustainable Salish Sea citizenship.

We achieve this mission through three tributaries: 1) JuniorSeaDoctors.com, a website and club for ocean education and community stewardship, 2) National and Provincial standards-based curriculum for grade 5 teachers, based on our book, Explore the Salish Sea: A Nature Guide for Kids, and 3) Kids on the Beach, a template and guide for educators from schools, Tribal and First Nations, government agencies, NGOs, citizen science programs, and community volunteers to support student projects in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) that help inform policy, restore habitat, and educate the community.

We Brought a Sub to the Salish Sea (PHOTOS)

We Brought a Sub to the Salish Sea (PHOTOS)

It’s amazing what you can get done if you have the right tools.

About a year ago, we made the decision to bring a manned submersible to the San Juan Islands for a week of seafloor research. We put out a call for proposals and ultimately decided on three great projects studying deep-dwelling red urchins, sand lance habitat and the effects of seafloor trawling.

In most cases, scientific results arrive slowly after data is processed and analyzed, but when a tool is offered up that grants a new perspective for observation, exciting discoveries can arrive quickly. We saw that during our week with the OceanGate submersible, with team after team brimming with excitement after popping out of the sub after several hours of deep sea immersion. 

Is Southern Resident Killer Whale J35 really mourning?

Is Southern Resident Killer Whale J35 really mourning?

By Joe Gaydos. For more than a week, a female Southern Resident Killer Whale has been carrying her dead calf around the Salish Sea.

J35, the 20-year-old orca also known as Tahlequah, gave birth on July 24th, but the baby girl died just a short time later. Since then, people around the world have watched as this young mother has appeared to grieve.

Primates, including Gelada baboons, Japanese macaques, chimpanzees and mountain gorillas have been shown to carry around dead babies even though, as one researcher commented, it "is a waste of energy and seems to be of no benefit to the mother."