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

NEW VOLUNTEER TRAINING APRIL 26, 2014 SESSION (session is full*)
When: Saturday, April 26, 2014
Time: 10am - 12pm Training starts promptly at 10.
(weather permitting, an on-the beach short session will follow)

Alki Bathhouse 2701 Alki Ave SW (map it)
*registration now closed - training is full to capacity

If you are unable to make this training and would like to be placed on a contact list for future trainings, please
email us.

On Saturday morning, April 26th, 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. 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 Western Region 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).

For additional questions and info or to be placed on a contact list for future training opportunities, please
email us.


Saturday, June 14, 2014 9:30am - 12:30 pm
Alki Beach, West Seattle (assemble at Alki's Statue of Liberty plaza, 61st Ave SW and Alki Ave SW)
*Please RSVP (we need to make sure we have enough gloves and other materials on hand)

Make a difference and join us to remove litter from Alki Beach this season. Prior to dispersing volunteers with materials to pick up trash, Seal Sitters and
PAWS Wildlife Center will speak briefly at 9:30 about the dangers of marine debris to wildlife and the difficult rehab of harbor seal pups.

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.

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.

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' educational outreach project Year of the Seal: Sentinels of the Sound was intended to raise awareness of the impact that humans have on our fragile marine ecosystem. That awareness campaign continues each day that volunteers and the public spread the message that litter and pollution is deadly to marine life.

The beach cleanup on June 14th is co-sponsored by Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network, PAWS Wildlife Center, and the Alki Community Council. To read about past years' clean-ups,
click here.

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photos and video copyright © 2007-2014 Robin Lindsey all rights reserved