We encourage those of all ages who are interested in marine mammals, their protection and welfare to attend our training sessions. Once a volunteer training session has been completed, you are eligible to become a member of Seal Sitters. Volunteers are not only vital for the protection of seal pups and other marine mammals, but also perform a public service by providing education to local residents as well as visitors from around the world. Learn more about volunteering here.
NEW VOLUNTEER TRAININGAUGUST SESSION: When: Monday, August 12, 2013 Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm (training starts promptly at 6:30) Where: Alki Bathhouse 2701 Alki Ave SW (map it) RSVP required to assure seating. If you'd like to be placed on a contact list for future trainings, please email us.
On Monday evening, August 12th, Seal Sitters will be holding a special training for those wanting to protect marine mammals along the shoreline of West Seattle and the Duwamish River. This will be the last training session offered until late fall/winter, after harbor seal pupping season has ended. Unlike most marine mammal stranding networks, we encourage children to participate in Seal Sitters - supervised at all times, of course, by a parent or guardian. We are so proud of our amazing and dedicated volunteers who are on duty rain or shine - we hope you will join us!
A multi-media presentation will illustrate our educational work in the community and the unique challenges of protecting seals and other marine mammals in an urban environment. Included in the training is an overview of NOAA's Northwest Marine Mammal Stranding Network and biology and behavior of seals and other pinnipeds (due to time frame, supplementary sessions will include more marine mammals of Puget Sound). We will also be discussing our educational outreach project, Year of the Seal, culminated with the installation of a sculpture of a harbor seal mom and pup at Alki Beach.
There will be NO training sessions during the height of pupping season (late summer - fall), due to time constraints on volunteers. RSVP for this event. For additional questions and info or to be placed on a contact list for future training opportunities, please email us.
"SENTINELS OF THE SOUND" BEACH CLEANUP, AUGUST 3, 2013, 9am-noon (RSVP) HELP US HONOR SEAL PUP SANDY AND THE ARROYOS GRAY WHALE
Make a difference and join us to remove litter from Alki Beach this season. Seal Sitters' Year of the Seal: Sentinels of the Sound project is intended to raise awareness of the impact that humans have on our fragile marine ecosystem. Harbor seals (who do not migrate and are year-round residents) and orcas, both animals at the top of the food chain, are especially hard hit by pollutants from storm runoff and microplastics which are stored in their blubber. A 2005 study showed that harbor seals of South Puget Sound were 7 times more contaminated with PCBs than those of Canada's Georgia Strait. The orcas of Puget Sound are the most contaminated marine mammals in the world. All marine life is endangered by marine debris and pollution. Many, many thousands of marine animals and sea birds die each year from derelict fishing gear, marine debris and pollution. They are entangled and drowned by nets and gear. Strangled and contaminated by plastics. This year's beach cleanup events will once again be in honor of seal pup Sandy who was rescued from a West Seattle beach in August of 2011, rehabilitated at PAWS Wildlife Center, and then released back to the wild in January of 2012. Sandy was fitted with a satellite tag (glued to her fur which would be shed when she molted) to monitor her success in the wild and provide valuable data to biologists about foraging patterns of rehabbed seals. Sixty-six days later, Sandy was found dead, entangled in derlict fishing line off the Edmonds Pier. Read more about Sandy. Sandy has truly put a face on pollution. Trash on the beach becomes treacherous in the water. You can make a difference! Help keep our beaches clean and our sea life safe. Read more about marine pollution here.
We would also like to honor the memory of the Arroyos gray whale who stranded and died in 2010. The necropsy revealed that there was no food in the thin juvenile male's stomach - only human trash.
Seal Sitters, along with co-sponsors Alki Community Council and Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, will hold a cleanup of West Seattle's Alki Beach on Saturday, August 3 from 9am-noon. We will assemble at Alki's Statue of Liberty plaza (61st Ave SW and Alki Ave SW). Please RSVP for this event so we have enough bags and equipment on hand. Read about last year's event here.