Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Here's a brief account and a few pictures of the Dogwood/Snowberry adventures!

Their crates were open, and Snowberry was first to peek his head out. He slowly made his way out of the crate and into the water. He turned back towards the beach and climbed up, then turned back towards water. He finally started to swim a bit and then there was some big splashing and gulls circling him. Could he have found a fishy already?! We hope! We watched him swim around for a good ten minutes, occasionally glancing over at Dogwoods crate, which he was still in. Actually, he turned around so his head was facing away from the water! Apparently what Snowberry was doing looked like no fun. 

The Wolf Hollow volunteers pushed the crate closer to the water, until he was about 2 inches deep. They tipped his crate, we could hear him trying to scamper to the very back. Eventually the volunteers had to turn the crate completely upside down so he had no choice but to fall out of it into the water. He just stared at us. After a few minutes went by, one of the volunteers threw some pebbles his way to make a splash. He didn't move. After a few more minutes another volunteer walked right up to him and started kicking her boot right near his face to splash him with water. He looked up at her and jumped (as much as a seal can jump) right up at her. If he were a dog he'd have jumped right in her arms! It was so sad, you could almost hear him "But mama, I want to stay with you!" Eventually he started to swim away, but swam by all of us first, looking right up at us. Oh, poor baby, didn't want to go out in the big world! He also didn't really seem to get the concept of swimming like a normal harbor seal. He kept the "banana" pose the whole time, trying to keep his back flippers out of the water instead of using them to propel himself. Maybe his flipper tags were making him a bit uncomfortable? 

SeaDoc Society says we should be able to track them on a daily basis, I think starting in a week, on their website. 

~Heather Hill

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

WMMSN teams up with

What is

     " is a o­ne-stop source for community health information in Whatcom County. Find data, learn about the issues, and determine effective methods for lasting improvement." - from their website

Click here to see the WMMSN page at

WMMSN in the news: Komo 4 video

WMMSN in the news at

POSTED: Friday, Jul. 16, 2010

"A newborn harbor seal pup was rescued from the beach Thursday, July 15, after its mother died and left it stranded. Volunteers from the Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network picked up the seal at about 4:30 p.m. in the busy beach area across from the restaurant core along Birch Bay Drive."

Click here for full article

POSTED: Thursday, Sep. 09, 2010

"A newborn seal pup rescued from a Birch Bay beach after its mother died is expected to be released back into the wild by the end of September.
Meanwhile, rescue groups have seen a recent rash of seal killings in the area and are concerned fishermen may be killing the seals instead of deterring them other ways."

Click here for full article

Meeting Minutes 9/1/10

September 1, 2010

Metcalf Hodges Accounting Firm conference room

Meeting called to order at:
6:30 pm

People present at Meeting:
Mariann Carrasco
Heather Harris
Michael Bowland
Anastasia Edgar
Kelly Armijo
Lori Crawford
Victoria Souze
Edradine Hovde
Claudia Olejniczak

  • Unanimous approval to accept minutes from past meeting
  • Treasurer’s report from Lori shows that we have about $1400 in our account after paying some bills and getting all our refunds and donations covered.
  • Mariann brought in all the items that go in the necropsy kits except the formaldehyde. Necropsy kits were passed out to Stasi, and Victoria said she could take Christi hers. Michael bought a kit on the spot. Mariann will hang onto Kellie’s until she gets back.

Old Minutes:
  • Discussion on Adopt-a-seal program, donating seal prints. Danielle passed on costs she received from her boyfriend at 79 cents per copy not including matte. Since Bob wasn’t here we decided to table the discussion for a board meeting or the next Oct when everyone needed could make it. We need Bob, Victoria, Trisha, and others all at the same meeting at the same time. Bob was not able to get costs for the prints yet.
  • Mariann gave a brief summary of the grants process. Mariann and Lori are finalizing the grant and it is with the grant reviewer now. Hopefully it will get finished and out this week or next. Claudia also asked to review it.
  • Most folks are doing their beach surveys, although it has not revealed very many extra strandings, but the season is still young!
  • This summer’s fundraiser, the boat trip, was cancelled as Trisha was very sick this summer and couldn’t plan the fundraiser properly. Get well Trisha! She should be on the mend now.
  • Mariann reminded everyone to send their hours/expenses to Bob at the end of each month.
New Business
  • Mariann and Kelly put in a plug for everyone to see the movie “The Cove”, an excellent documentary about the dolphin slaughter in Japan. Well worth viewing if you get a chance.
  • Mariann updated everyone on a volunteer appreciation party to be held in January. Awards will be given out (some of them humorous!) and certificates for hours volunteered (so get your hours to Bob) as well as food, drink and other great stuff! More info to come out later.
  • Mariann provided a statistical summary of strandings so far this year, in preparation for an article to come out in the Bellingham Herald either Sept 9 or 10. Watch for this article.
  • We discussed have another seal triage training at Wolf Hollow to coincide with release of our pups later this month or next. Julie or Mariann to check into this possibility. (see what happens when you miss a meeting; an assignment!)
  • We reviewed the highlights of the summer strandings and discussed the unusual ones and what things might work to make responses go more smoothly.
  • We discussed ordering 2.5% Dextrose so that we have the proper fluids available should another pup go to NWRC. Mariann and/or Julie to look into this.
  • We may include pictures of what we are doing into our grant to show how our education efforts are working. Mariann to look into this.
  • Starr Johnson, one of our volunteers who was gone this summer while she served on the Sea Shephard, will be our presenter at the October meeting. She will talk about her experiences on the boat and what it was like working in the Mediterranean this summer.
  • Next board meeting we should review our goals for 2011 and see what we can or can’t do with the money we have since we would not get grant money until summer of 2011, as well as finalize our adopt-a-seal program.
  • Stasi, Lori and Heather gave updates on how the 2 summer education events went at Birch bay and Blaine.
  • Mariann mentioned that elections will be held in November. The Co-Investigator position is open and all other positions, except the Education director which was just filled, will be available for new folks. We are looking for a NON-BOARD member to head up the elections committee (could be just 2-3 people) to canvas for board members in the November elections. If you are interested, please contact Mariann.

Mariann showed a draft clip (about 10 minutes) of the gray whale necropsy that happened last spring. This clip will eventually be part of a small documentary about the WMMSN and what we do that we can use at educational events that Ken Carrasco is working on, and will finish sometime in 2011.

Meeting adjourned at 8:20 pm.