I want to take a moment to reflect, as fall continues to unfold, on how each of you is making a difference in our Salish Sea. We are gathering reports from all our projects and it is clear, our members are out and about on both islands-gathering data, educating the public and reaching out to involve others in our mission for a healthy, sustainable Puget Sound.
This summer was a dramatic and unfolding tale of why that effort matters. We watched Tahlequah push her dead infant around the Sound for 17 days, drawing worldwide attention to the perils of our Southern Resident Orcas. We grieved the loss of Scarlet, another Southern Resident and now celebrate that we have four mothers who we hope will give birth to healthy baby whales. Washington State recently released the draft report of the task force working to identify solutions to protect this endangered species. More information can be found here via Puget Sound Partnership. Our work in salmon restoration, education and awareness, water monitoring and other projects can align with this initiative.
We also have been hard at work on a strategic plan to be finalized by the end of this year. In addition to the many initiatives from improving our marketing and communications, to stronger fund development to volunteer recruitment and retention, these ideas demonstrate our growth and strength as an emerging nonprofit. One item that has drawn widespread support and interest is to broaden our membership opportunities to include a type of associate membership for spouses, students, working adults or others who may not be able to pursue our intensive training program at this time in their lives. We have talked about this at our monthly meetings, and have shared the proposed by-laws changes for your input and review. We will continue to strive to be a welcoming organization that engages the public in many ways in our work.
Finally, as many of you know, my candidacy for Island County Commissioner may mean a change in leadership for Sound Water Stewards. I want to assure all, that the Board is thoughtfully planning for this possibility and will assure we have continuity of leadership and the care of our staff and members if that transition occurs.
Thank you for your commitment to Sound Water Stewards and to the sustainability of our Puget Sound home.