In 2009 we continued to move forward with the Whale Entanglement Team (W.E.T.) project. You can see on our home page that the W.E.T. now has a dedicated toll-free number and a Response and Reporting card, available on waterproof paper. Please contact us if you would like to get a waterproof card or are interested in helping to distribute them.
We are all anxious and excited to get back out on the water this fall to continue with our research effort. We will conduct boat-based surveys on the water in Monterey Bay. If you are interested in volunteering for Marine Life Studies please contact us. There are many areas in which you can volunteer either on or off the water.
The fourth annual Whale Quest Kapalua held in February 2009 was another huge success. Every year I have led one of the Educational Workshops for students that are invited from area schools on Maui. The fifth grade students are delightful and fun to work with. This year I led the workshop on Marine Debris, which is such an important topic. Approximately four-fifths of marine trash comes from land, swept by wind or washed by rain off highways and city streets, down streams and rivers, and out to sea. The workshop helps the students understand the consequences of choices they make, how it can affect the environment and learn that their actions can bring about positive change.
More yet to come in 2009 so please check back. We encourage you to check out our Marine Life Studies Donations. Your support is vital in the accomplishment of our mission and goals. In this tough economic time everyone is stretched pretty thin. Donations all over the country have declined. Whatever you might be able to donate would be greatly appreciated. Check out our "Wish List" as maybe you have some equipment that could be donated. Remember gifts and donations are 100% tax deductible.
WOW, 2008 has been a very exciting, productive and busy year for Marine Life Studies (MLS). There are so many things to update you on since I have not kept up with the blog like I should. Most exciting for us is the formation of W.E.T. (Whale Entanglement Teams of Central and Northern California). This is a project we actually started working on in the fall of 2006 that was slated as the number one project for MLS to focus our efforts on. It all started with a question, "Why doesn’t California have a coordinated statewide program for disentangling whales like Hawaii?" Mary Whitney, a valuable volunteer for Marine Life Studies as well as the founder of Fluke Foundation, wrote a great article for the American Cetacean Society (ACS) newsletter "Soundings -- the Newsletter of ACS Monterey Bay" October 2008 issue. See the article here.
Now that I have updated you on the success of W.E.T. to keep things simple I will let you know the other exciting things that have happened in 2008 in chronological order.
The winter was very exciting with the volunteer work I do with the Hawaii Whale Research Foundation in Maui. We had an incredible and productive season plus some of my most amazing encounters with the humpbacks.
Well, in 2007 we had some more boat problems, which limited our days on the water. There were a couple times we got back to the harbor safely on a wing n’ a prayer. But the main thing is we got some more water days out on beautiful Monterey Bay. Nothing makes me happier. While working on the boat hoping to get it running while floating dead in the water (luckily it was a calm, beautiful day), I kept dreaming of the day that we can get our dream "Green Research" boat that runs on renewable fuels. See our "Wish List".
Since MLS has limited funds to run the project we decided that in 2007 we would concentrate on projects that could make a difference but would not take much cash, just time. So of course a project we actually started working on in the fall 2006 was slated as the number one project to put all our efforts into. The project is to help facilitate a "Whale Rescue Network" for Monterey Bay that has grown to incorporate all of California and coordinate it with existing trained personnel already in place.