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Year of the Seal kickoff event a success

Seal Sitters’ Year of the Seal kickoff event, held Saturday at the Alki Bathhouse, was a huge success. About 50 volunteers heard marine mammal biologists Jessie Huggins (Cascadia Research) and Dyanna Lambourn (WA Dept of Fish and Wildlife) speak about the health of marine mammals in Puget Sound. These two highly respected women (shown at left performing the necropsy on juvenile orca L-112/Sooke) are imminent researchers into the devastating impacts of contaminants and marine debris on harbor seals and cetaceans and ship strike dangers for large whales. Thanks to The Whale Trail’s Donna Sandstrom and Tox-ick founder Laura James who also participated in the event, sharing information about their environmental work.

The Year of the Seal educational outreach project is intended to raise awareness of human impact on our fragile marine ecosystem - and that one person truly can make a difference by the choices we make regarding litter and plastics, pesticides and fertilizers. Click here to learn more about the project and sculpture by Northwest artist Georgia Gerber. Thanks to the volunteers at the event who made a donation to help us raise funds for the landscape and installation phase of the sculpture project.

Huge thanks to Dyanna and Jessie for giving up their Saturday to educate our volunteers who were fascinated by this glimpse into the world of marine mammal “CSI”. The funding for research into emerging diseases, contaminants and methods to help alter the deadly collision course of whales and shipping vessels is largely made possible by the John H. Prescott Fund, which has been eliminated from the proposed 2014 Federal buget. For more information and links to contact your congressional representatives asking to reinstate Prescott funding, click here.
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