Friday, April 30, 2010

WMMSN celebrates Blogmania with a free Tshirt giveaway!

Chitenango when found on the beach.  

Who is WMMSN? 

The Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network is a non-profit organization made up of volunteers that are dedicated to the care of distressed or deceased marine mammals. 

After several months of rehab he's ready to return to the wild
What does WMMSN do? 

Our trained volunteers do many things including: Responding to reports of stranded, distressed or deceased marine mammals.  When we arrive on scene, we then assess the condition of the animal and determine how best to help them.  When a stranding occurs on a crowded public beach we often set up a safety perimeter around the stranded marine mammal to prevent human contact.  We also educate the public about the stranded marine mammal and the laws that  protect them.  If we respond to a deceased animal, a necropsy may be performed to help to determine what caused the death. 

    To learn more about WMMSN and our work with marine mammals, please visit our website or fan us on Facebook for news updates.  Click here to read the story of Chitenango.  Chitenango was a stranding call we responded to last year.  He was rescued, rehabbed and released back into the wild to live out his life.

    This Blog is 115 of 123

    You’ve arrived at exactly the right time to explore lots of new blogs, all of which, ARE HOSTING A VERY SPECIAL BLOGMANIA GIVEAWAY!  (For One Day Only – April 30th)
    All the work has been done for you. No hunting or surfing. Each blog will have a number and each new blog link will have a number. These numbers will allow you to keep track of which blogs you’ve visited and how many are left to visit. Why not take a moment to make a list of blog numbers 1-123 and check off the blogs as you go.
    I know you’ll want to visit as many blogs today as you can. So, if you see something that interests you on any of our participating blogs, why not bookmark that site. Later, when you have more time, you can discover all its fabulous treasures.  
    Our GIVEAWAY and RULES:  For Blogmania we are giving away one of our organic cotton T-shirts.

    To enter to win just leave us a comment on this blog.  1 winner will be chosen and announced on this blog on May 3rd.



    The WMMSN T-shirts are made from 100% organic cotton in light blue, are pre - shrunk but sizes do run a little small.  They feature a Walking Whales design on the front with the Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network logo on the back. 

    After you've commented and entered to win, be sure to visit these other Blogs participating in Blogmania.  Each one is hosting a giveaway!


    Thursday, April 29, 2010

    Another Training Coming Up

    Missed the last training session?  You're in luck!  We'll be having one more training session before the spring seal pupping season begins.  This training is for new volunteers and for existing volunteers who missed the previous refresher training.  Here's the scoop:

    Volunteer Responder Training

    Registration is required for new volunteers.  To register, please call Bob Ryerson, Director of Volunteers at 360-306-1568 or email to:

    Class length: 1 session (approximately 3 hours)

    Date: May 17th

    Time: 6:00 - 9:00 pm

    Location: Metcalf Hodges Building Conference Room at 770 East Holly St

    Instructor: Mariann Carrasco of WMMSN

    Cost: $25 for new volunteers. Current volunteers may refresh training for free

    **WMMSN Tshirts ($20) and responder kits containing necessary response items ($15) will be available for purchase at the training.

    Mariann will be instructing the training for new volunteers and has requested that all current volunteers attend in preparation for the upcoming season. It will be a good opportunity to get new information, learn the new protocols and advances in communication. There's no charge for current members of the WMMSN just bring in your binders.

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    General Meeting Minutes 4/17/10

    April 17, 2010

    Metcalf Hodges Accounting Firm conference room

    Meeting called to order at:
    2:00 pm (1400hrs)

    People present at Meeting:
    Mariann Carrasco
    Heather Harris
    Christi Spangler
    Trisha O’Connor
    Edradine Hovde
    Danielle Love
    Victoria Souze
    Mike Etnier
    Lynn Bowland
    Mike Bowland

    • Unanimous approval to accept minutes from past meeting

    Old Minutes:

    • Discussion on Adopt-a-seal program, donating seal prints. Victoria presented her ideas. Everyone would get a certificate (she handed out an example) and we would do it for 6-8 species, maybe varying the amount of the donation by species for those that want to donate more or less. Price still to be determined after asking Bob. We could do a certificate with a stuffed whale or seal for kids and families. Oriental Trading catalog has special prices for these critters for non-profits. We all agreed this seemed like a good idea but wanted to wait to finalize after Bob tells us what we should charge for one of his prints.

    • Mariann is going to pursue getting a space with Port of Bellingham for use in necropsies and maybe storing supplies.

    • Discussion on grants was tabled since Carley was not here.

    • Basic Kits are now assembled (mostly) and available for purchase ($15).

    • Seal Pup Triage protocol was discussed and handed out. Stacy will have an on-site training for the qualified individuals soon.

    • Mariann reminded everyone to send their hours/expenses to Bob at the end of each month.

    New Business

    • The gray whale that stranded last week that we worked on was discussed and slides were shown during the potluck for those interested.

    • Beach surveys are being started. It was felt that monthly surveys may do a better job of revealing how many strandings we really get, and it gets everyone out enjoying a worthwhile job with family members or friends. They can be done at any time of the month with anyone you want. Everyone present signed up to survey a beach of their choice once a month. You only report anything if you found anything. There are still a few beaches left to sign up for, for those that couldn’t attend the meeting. The beach areas still left are Chuckanut Bay South, Gooseberry Point West and East Side (we may not be allowed access to these beaches), beaches around the city of Fairhaven, South Side Semiahmoo Spit, West Side Semiahmoo, West Side Drayton Harbor, Head of and East Side Drayton Harbor, Nooksack River Delta/Marietta (kayakers anyone?) Beaches around the City of Blaine, BP to Conoco Phillips refinery (accessed by the Gulf Rd that was used for last year’s gray whale stranding), Sandy Point, and Red River Delta (kayakers anyone?). Call or email Mariann to go over the maps with her and sign up for a beach if you are interested.

    • Events that are coming up that Victoria is looking into signing us up for that we have not already discussed previously are May 1st Opening Day of Boating Season, Old Fashioned 4th of July at Blaine, Old Towne days end of August, Memorial day Ski to Sea Race. We will be looking for volunteers to staff the booth during these events.

    • Mariann will get more whale watching guideline flyers from Kristin.

    • Next meeting will be held on May 5th at 6:30 pm at the M/H building. An emergency election will be held for the Education and Development (fundraising) director positions at this meeting so if you are interested in these positions, please let Mariann know. Mariann will also be presenting all the info she learned at the National Conference.

    Meeting adjourned at 3:30 pm.

    Mike Etnier presented us with a talk on whale teeth and how he and another follow researcher have sliced up teeth to determine age and diet of these animals. It provides us with a good historical record of what the animals used to eat compared to what they are eating now. Awesome talk! 

    Post Submitted by:
    Marianne Carrasco
    Principal Investigator


    Saturday, April 10, 2010

    Mark your calendars!

    We've got a big day coming up next Saturday, April 17th!

    We'll be meeting at the Metcalf Hodges building on Holly St. in Bellingham for training starting at 10 am. 

    Mariann will be instructing the training for new volunteers and has requested that all current volunteers attend in preparation for the upcoming season.  It will be a good opportunity to get new information, learn the new protocols and advances in communication. There's no charge for current members of the WMMSN just bring in your binders. New volunteers, please visit for details on registration and charges.  Basic responder kits are ready and will be available for purchase at this training. This session is scheduled to run until 1 pm.

    Immediately following, we will have a potluck luncheon, so bring your favorite dish to share.

    Then after lunch we are going to continue and have our April general meeting.  This month Mike Etnier, our Director of Necropsy, will be giving a presentation on aging whale teeth.

    Share a love for marine mammals?  Thinking of getting involved?  Now is a great time to volunteer and get in on this upcoming training.  Contact Bob Ryerson, our Volunteer Coordinator at to register or check our volunteer page at for more information. 

    Principal Investigator, Mariann Carrasco, is currently attending the National Marine Mammal Conference.  Join us on the WMMSN Facebook page and get the current updates from her trip.

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    The Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network Blog has a new home

    The WMMSN-blog has a new home on blogger!  Please update your bookmarks to our new URL:

    Due to some technical difficulties, we have started a new blog for WMMSN.  Please follow us here for all the latest news from the members of the Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

    Click here to return to our website!