Monday, June 7, 2010

General Meeting Minutes - June 2010

Date:  June 5, 2010

Location:  Metcalf Hodges Accounting Firm conference room

Meeting called to order at:   10:05 am

People present at Meeting:
  • Mariann Carrasco
  • Heather Harris
  • Bob Ryerson
  • Carley Lowe
  • Christi Spangler
  • Kellie Dalrymple
  • Starr Johnson
  • Michael Bowland
  • Anastasia Edgar
  • Rick Defehr
  • Lynn Defehr
  • Deanna Defehr

Unanimous approval to accept minutes from past meeting

Approximated treasurer’s report from Mariann in Lori’s absence shows that we have about $1200 in our account after paying some bills. IRS refund of overpayment of 501 (c) (3) approval is being sent to us ($450).

Mariann brought in all the remaining items that go in the basic kits except the rope and dry erase markers. White boards, flagging tape, large and small ziploc sample bags were all passed out to those that bought basic kits.

Old Minutes:

Discussion on Adopt-a-seal program, donating seal prints. Bob was not able to get costs for the prints yet. Danielle, Trisha and Edradine were not in attendance to pass on what they found out either, so discussion centered on explaining the program to those not familiar with it. Decision was made to wait until the next meeting for cost comparison to come in and then make a decision. Also, Starr said she knows the manager at Kinkos and she might be able to get us a good deal. Bob to look into it. Bob still needs to put together a table of specifications for the prints so that others can approach vendors for accurate comparisons. Bob’s vendor is charging $110 for 50 prints.

Mariann gave a brief summary of the grants process. Mariann and Lori are finalizing the budget and will get it to Carley soon. 

Vancouver Aquarium is tentatively scheduled for June 12th. Carley says 12 people are signed up right now so it is booked. 

Mariann brought everyone up to speed about our only fundraiser for the year, the July 31st boat trip on Ken and Mariann’s 32’ power boat. We are still waiting to hear back from Trisha on the Mt. Baker Vineyards and Chuckanut Brewery donations before we can put together the invitations. Rick mentioned their 40’ boat and that their family might be willing to do something similar if ours is successful and there are more people that want to come. Mariann and Ken to meet with Rick and look over their boat to see how many people it can hold.

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

Seal pup triage was approved by NOAA with a small caviat, so we are good to go.

Northern Lights article was submitted by Heather and is being run. Great job Heather! Heather still has not heard back from the Bellingham Herald and will try contacting them again.

Mariann gave everyone updates on the July Discovery Days booth (July 17-18) and the August Drayton Harbor Days booth (August 7), on what they are about and what our role is when we have a booth. She also told folks to contact Bob if they want to sign up to staff a booth for a couple of hours either of those days.

Mariann checked in with everyone regarding beach surveys. Most everyone in attendance has done their beach surveys without incident or finding a marine mammal. 

New Business:

Mariann updated everyone on the Steller’s sea lion that stranded on Lummi Island on Memorial Day (young male) and showed a slide later on diastema in the lower jaw that was the main distinguishing factor identifiying it as a Steller’s instead of a California’s.

Mariann updated everyone on her scheduled vacation of June 28 through July 7th, and that Carley will be taking over for her during that time.

Also, Carley is leaving us to go to grad school (in Hawaii!) August 1st, so the board decided that her position of Co-Investigator should remain open until the November elections. Those interested in consideration for this slot should contact Carley or Mariann to talk about what is involved.

The board approved dropping the July and August general meetings because everyone is sooo busy with seal pups and vacations. Next meeting is September 1st, Wed evening at 6:30 pm. And all our meetings will be held 6:30 pm the first Wednesday of every month.

Updates on the $500 emergency fund voted and approved by the board and the approval by the board to pay for 2 people (Lori and Victoria) to attend the grant writing class put on by WCC.

Bob showed everyone the decals he purchased for the club; a large size for the back of the vest and a small size to be used on the front lapel of the vest or else on a ball cap. We decided to sell them at $10 for the large and $3 for the small decals based on the cost we were charged for them. Nine of the 10 large decals and 4 of the 12 small decals were later sold.

Necropsy training on June 13th at 1:00 pm at 2508 G st. in Bham (Mike’s garage) was discussed. So far 8 people are signed up and 4 of the 6 necropsy kits that were ordered have been paid for. 

It was brought up that if you can’t do a necropsy of an animal than at least get a 1 inch cubed sized blubber sample.

Carley will put on another tagging training in July for those interested. Mariann needs to talk to Mike about the tags.

Discussion on preparation for the summer season commenced.

Meeting adjourned at 11:30 am.

Ken Carrasco, from the Coast Guard Auxiliary that specializes in chemical spills and their affect on the marine environment, proceeded to talk about oil spills in our area, after Mariann presented the Federal picture on oil spills. Ken presented how oil spill emergency response is organized and who responds in detail. Discussion ensued. Ken offered up the National Oil Spill responses number that anyone can call in case of an oil spill. 1-800-424-8802.

Mariann presented a harbor seal pup case study that everyone worked through, so that hopefully we are all prepared for the summer. Mariann will attach the document to the minutes in case others that couldn’t attend want to see what is needed and run through the case study.



Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network

Background: You have been given a location of Birch Bay, right in front of the only restaurant on the water. The restaurant manager is the caller. You are to meet a fellow stranding network volunteer at the site at 11:00 am. It is a Saturday in June and you were told that a live seal pup has been abandoned on the beach and many people were coming by to pet it and have pictures taken with their kids next to it. It is hot and sunny out (wishful thinking….).

Work in pairs and answer these questions:
  1. What do you take with you given what you know?
  2. What do you do when you get there?
  • Will the weather play a factor?
  • Will the public play a factor?
  • Do you have the right equipment to respond to this situation?

Scroll down to see the answers

1)What do you take with you given what you know?

  • Digital camera
  • cell phone
  • basic kit or equivalent supplies especially flagging caution tape
  • sticks to tie tape to
  • signs
  • gloves
  • your ID
  • your WMMSN T-shirt (if you have one)
  • your binder
  • sun block
  • water
  • food
  • GPS (if you have one)
  • the call sheet
  • mud boots
  • pants that can get muddy
  • handouts and brochures

2)What do you do when you get there?

Check to make sure you park in an appropriate place. Phone your partner and meet up with them. Find the seal pup based on restaurant owners instructions. Look for crowds of people. Make sure you have all your gear in case the pup is far out on the beach. Approach the group. Part your way through. Raise your voice and tell the group who you are and who your represent. Tell them that everyone needs to be at least 300 feet away (Birch Bay being such a large beach, you might be able to get people that far away, depending on precisely where the pup is located). Tell them that all people and dogs must stay away because MM can carry diseases and because their presence is stressing the pup. Make sure everyone knows to call 966-8845 if they see a marine mammal on the beach. Verify that it is a seal pup. Explain that the pup is not calling for its mom because it has been abandoned; it is calling because it is scared as they are too many people around with their kids and dogs. Set up your perimeter and post signs. Tell them that you are trained as a responder and are certified to handle seal pups and you understand the risks; that is why you can get within 300 feet of the pup and no one else can, if asked. Handout brochures if needed and answer questions about our organization if asked. Refer them to our website, for more answers. Get photos of the pup from several angles, using the white board. Determine the condition of the pup, i.e., dehydrated (skinny with wrinkled skin) or fat (nice and rounded), how many days old it is by the freshness of its umbilical cord, verify the details with the reporting party, call the principle investigator or equivalent with your findings. The PI will start making calls to set up more pup sitters to rotate with you over the next 24 hours based on everyone’s schedules.