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Stranding response program
Central Puget Sound Marine Mammal Stranding Network (CPSMMSN) works under the umbrella of Orca Network, one of our partner organizations. It is part of the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program under NOAA Fisheries. The overall goals of the program are to coordinate emergency response for sick, injured and stranded marine mammals, facilitate collection and dissemination of data, assess health trends in marine mammals, correlate marine mammal health with data on defined parameters and to coordinate effective responses to unusual mortality events. The program has four subprograms, one of which is the Stranding Network which includes CPSMMSN. CPSMMSN covers Island County, the northern part of Snohomish County and most of Skagit County. This is all authorized under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.
IF you find a stranded marine mammal, alive or dead, in Island, Skagit or north Snohomish counties, please call the Central Puget Sound Marine Mammal Stranding Network – 1-866-ORCANET – and follow the prompts to report the animal. Our Network will respond as appropriate, assess the situation, and pass/record the info to researchers and NOAA.
Volunteers with the CPSMMSN, are involved with many different activities including helping with necropsies when warranted by NOAA, assisting with education displays, responding to standings and filling out the appropriate documentation needed under protocol, educating the public about seals pups during pupping season, or being involved in “sitting” animals during their normal behaviors such as molting which provides education and outreach to the public as well as an extra layer of safety to the animal in places that receive high volumes of human foot traffic. Volunteering in this sector is considered as participation in our community science pillar and hours towards any endeavor with CPSMMSN are honored as volunteer hours with Sound Water Stewards.
For more information on how to participate or to reported stranded or distressed marine mammals, please visit: https://www.orcanetwork.org/stranding-network
Cool Fact: 5 rare Northern Elephant Seals call Island County waters home during the summer.