People and science healing the sea. That's the driving force behind the work of the SeaDoc Society, a science and education nonprofit that advocates on behalf of the Salish Sea.
Of course, any day is a good one to celebrate our vibrant marine ecosystems, but we want to take a moment to acknowledge World Whale Day (Feb. 21). World Whale Day began in Maui, Hawaii (just like Shrub Farm + Apple State Vinegar!), and has since become a global occasion to learn more about protecting these beautiful, essential creatures.
Here in Washington State, we're especially attuned to the state of overall marine health. That's because the Salish Sea is a critical piece of a larger maritime system - and one that is under threat from pollution. The Salish Sea is an inland sea - one of the world's largest and most diverse. It even crosses an international border, spanning both the United States and Canada.
The Salish Sea is home to 37 species of mammals, 172 species of birds, 253 species of fish, and 3000+ species of invertebrates. And that's not counting the millions of humans who make their lives along its shores. The Salish Sea supports marine life and economic growth.
That's why the work that the SeaDoc Society does is so important. Southern resident orcas call the Salish Sea home, and their numbers have seriously diminished over the years. SeaDoc Society's Science Director, Joe Gaydos, is working on a project that is evaluating 20 years worth of their funded research. Basically, they're trying to figure out what projects work, and why - so that all future endeavors will have a positive environmental impact.
They're also currently in the process of developing a podcast series about Southern Resident Killer Whales, which will be launching this spring.
So what can we do to help this organization? Well, their team has some good ideas about where to start. You can sign up for their free newsletter at seadocsociety.org/newsletter - "stay informed about this beautiful, but fragile, home we share with so many important wild species."