Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network is an all-volunteer group dedicated to the protection of marine mammals in the urban habitat of Puget Sound in Washington State and the health of their marine environment. Seal Sitters has created a unique opportunity for protection, conservation, education and research. Trained by NOAA, they spend their days (and often nights) protecting and observing marine mammals of all ages and species.
Seal Sitters was formed when a unique phenomenon occurred in the summer of 2007: seal pups began popping up on the urban beaches of West Seattle. The first tiny pup arrived on a hot mid-August day on a beach crowded with sunbathers and beach revelers. The pup was quickly surrounded by curious and alarmed onlookers and a small group of animal lovers sought out the advice of NOAA and erected a tape barrier to protect him. Over the next few weeks, that pup (nicknamed "Spud") and many others “hauled out” on our beaches under the watchful eyes of Seal Sitters, protecting them from curious dogs and over-zealous people. The pups were able to rest and gain strength until ready to return to the cold waters of the Salish Sea. In addition to educating the public about seals and their habits, Seal Sitters has been instrumental in assessing the health of pups and adult seals and sea lions, leading to the rescue and subsequent treatment of a number of them by PAWS (Progressive Animal Welfare Society). The volunteers provide health and mortalities data to government agencies and biologists who are involved in improving our marine ecosystem. Seal Sitters responds to all reports of dead and alive marine mammals from the smallest of seal pups to stranded whales. Much more than an animal conservation group, Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network is dedicated to the health of the Puget Sound ecosystem as a whole.