Central PugetSound Marine Mammal Stranding Network

Goal: $ 25000

No of Donation: 225

 

 

Goal: $ 25000
Amount Raised: $ 10926
Remaining : $ 14074
No of Donation : 225
Category : Animals
Url : http://www.orcanetwork.org
Contact Number : 1-866-672-2638
Address : 485 Labella Vista Way
State : Freeland
City : WA
Country : US
Zipcode : 98253

Challenge

We have been funded by NOAA Fisheries since 2006, but have not been funded since June 2012, & the NOAA Grants program is on the chopping block in the Federal budget - future funding of all Stranding Networks will be cut. Even with the current level of funding, only half the programs are funded each year. We provide hundreds of volunteer hours each year, but need funding for our hotline, Marine Mammal Vet, sample testing, & response time & travel, especially with a steep rise in porpoise deaths.

Solution

Orca Network - connecting whales and people in the Pacific Northwest Orca Network is dedicated to raising awareness of the whales of the Pacific Northwest, and the importance of providing them healthy and safe habitats. Orca Network finds ways for people to work together to protect the rich, beautiful, diverse habitats and inhabitants of Puget Sound. An extended clan of Orcinus orca, or orcas, socialize and forage in the inland waters of Washington State and British Columbia. Both male and female offspring remain with their mothers their entire lives. No other species, and not all orca communities, show lifetime association of mothers with both male and female offspring. Cultural traditions such as lifetime family bonding allow distinct vocal repertoires and complex social systems to develop within each pod and community, unlike any other mammal except humans. Their dialects are similar to human language groups, and assure them a place in their society. Known as the Southern Resident Orca community, or the Salish Sea Orcas, they move gracefully just downstream from an increasingly urban landscape. Worldwide field studies are now showing that there are several dozen orca communities distributed throughout marine habitats, each with its own vocal repertoire, its own specialized diet, its own hunting methods and social systems, and each is genetically distinct from all the others. We are on the verge of recognition by the scientific community that orcas can be considered as nomadic foraging tribes, living according to traditions passed down generation after generation, for many thousands of years. But all is not well. Orcas need clean, uncontaminated water and plentiful fish. Chinook salmon, the Salish Sea orcas' main food source, are in historic decline throughout the region. Habitat degradation, industrial poisons such as PCBs, and other impacts of human activities are taking their toll on the orcas we have come to know and love. We are all intricately connected, from tiny plankton to forage fish, salmon, orcas, tall firs and cedars, mountains, rivers and the ocean. It is time to reflect, to reconnect, and to respond as better caretakers of our planet.
Our Stranding Network covers 3 counties & responds to the 2nd highest # of strandings in WA State. We conduct necropsies & test samples to gather information on the health of marine mammals & oceans, & field hundreds of calls about live seal pups on beaches, providing extensive public education about seal pups & marine mammals. Orca Network currently has NO funding to pay for our stranding network, & are experiencing a high # of porpoise strandings, some with a disease that also affects humans.

Long-Term Impact

Cryptococcus gattii, a fungal pathogen found in some of our dead stranded porpoise, is a serious ocean and terrestrial health issue in the Pacific NW. The fungus has been present not only in porpoise, but in humans & companion animals in BC Canada, WA, & OR, resulting in human & animal deaths, as well as in many porpoise deaths. This airborne fungus also poses a threat to endangered orcas in the NW. Data from dead porpoises adds to research being done on this disease for human & ocean health.

Additional Documentation

Resources

Make a Donation