Wednesday, August 17, 2011

See The Whale Movie

This is a link to the movie about Luna, an L Pod whale, who left his family, lived in Nootka Sound, BC, and who died there in 2005. You can buy tickets online for showings in Seattle in early September.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

WSU Beach Watcher Get-together on August 9

Beach Watcher's met last Tuesday at Skagit College on San Juan Island for a light lunch and an informative, interactive talk on the complex geological history of the San Juans by Michael Yeaman, geologist. Beach Watchers from all classes were represented, and Shann Weston posted a list of BWs who had logged more than 100, 500 and 1,000 hours. (Congratulations to Dennis Linden, Geneva Mottet, and Chuck O’Clair in the top category!)

Members of the Beach Watcher Advisory Committee, a very impressive group representing the major environmental organizations in the community, gave updates on their activities and expressed their appreciation for the Beach Watchers volunteers. Among them were Cindy Hansen from the Whale Museum, Russel Barsh from Kwiaht, Fiona Norris from the San Juan Nature Institute, and David Lloyd from the Waldron community, to name just a few.

Shann talked about the business plan currently being developed for WSU Beach Watchers; more information on this will be available in the future. Shann also shared ideas regarding sustaining the San Juan County Beach Watcher program for the future. Obtaining funding in the current economic climate continues to be challenging, and volunteer hours are a very important component of this process. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to post their hours on an ongoing basis, and especially to catch up within the next month or so, so that Shann can submit these impressive numbers in grant applications. If you need any help with the posting process, please contact Susan Muckle at

Shann reminded everyone that Beach Watchers will again have a booth in the “Green Village” at the San Juan County Fair – contact Shann if you can volunteer.

Thanks to Shann for providing the opportunity to learn more about the work that everyone is doing. Our collective love for our unique marine community shone throughout the meeting. We just wish there had been more time to talk with each other before the ferry called.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cascade Creek Potluck, August 21st.

Mark your calendar for a pot luck picnic to be held Sunday, August 21st from 2:00 to 5:00 pm at 321 Point Lawrence Road in Olga on Orcas Island. This is an opportunity to hear from Dan Vekved, bridge engineer regarding the construction of the bridge over Cascade Creek and to discuss post construction monitoring of the creek and estuary. Reflections on citizen science and field work at Indian Island are also on the agenda. But as we all know it is really about the food and camaraderie! See you there. For additional information or directions contact:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Orca Ecotypes Around the World

While this article is not new, it does a good job of explaining how scientists are determining whether the various orcas worldwide are in fact all different species. The scientists are looking at what each type eats, hunting methods and differences in markings.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

County Shoreline Visioning Meetings

How we want our shorelines to be developed in the future will be the topic at these meetings scheduled for all islands. These meetings are part of the Shoreline Master Program update. The schedule is:

Sept. 20, from 1 - 4 p.m., on San Juan Is.-Grange Hall, 152 First St. (Note this meeting will focus on the outer islands).
From 5 - 8 p.m. another meeting will convene to discuss San Juan Island.

Sept. 21, from 5 - 8 p,.m., on Orcas Is., Madrona Room, Orcas Center, 917 Mt. Baker Rd.
Sept. 22, from 5 - 8 p.m., on Lopez Is., Lopez Center for Community and Arts, 204 Village Rd.

For more information call Colin Maycock at 360-370-7573 or email
Click on this link to view all documents including the updated Shoreline Master Program

Orcas Horns at County Fair

If you have the opportunity, please try to see Orcas Horns perform at the fair on Saturday, August 20, from 7-9 p.m. Steve Alboucq, Nancy's husband (BW Class of 2009), is the leader and one of the trumpet players. This group plays a mix of contemporary jazz, R&B, soul and blues. All band members are fabulous musicians and very entertaining.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Saving a Humpback Whale in the Sea of Cortez

This is an eight minute video of some people who saved a Humpback entangled in a gill net. It happened on February 14, 2011, in the Sea of Cortez. They went the extra mile when they realized no one else would help the whale.