Chum salmon are beginning to make their way into Central and
South Puget Sound, which means the orcas are likely to follow.
Given this year’s dismal reports of chinook salmon in the San
Juan Islands, we can hope that a decent number of chum traveling to
streams farther south will keep the killer whales occupied through
the fall. But anything can happen.
On Oct. 2, orcas from J and K pods — two of the three Southern
Resident pods — passed through Admiralty Inlet and proceeded to
Point No Point in North Kitsap, according to reports from Orca
Network. The whales continued south the following day and made
it all the way to Vashon Island, according to observers.
On Tuesday of this week, more reports of orcas came in from
Saratoga Passage, the waterway between Whidbey and Camano islands.
See the video by Alisa Lemire Brooks at the bottom of this page. By
yesterday, some members of J pod were reported back of the west
side of San Juan Island.
The movement of chum salmon into Central Puget Sound began in
earnest this week, as a test fishery off Kingston caught just a few
chum last week, jumping to nearly 1,000 this week. Still, the peak
of the run is a few weeks away.
When Lolita, a female orca held captive since 1970, was listed
among the endangered population of Southern Resident killer whales,
advocates for Lolita’s release were given new hope. Perhaps the
listing would help Lolita obtain a ticket out of Miami Seaquarium,
where she has lived since the age of 5.
But a U.S. district judge ruled last week that the Endangered
Species Act could not help her. While the federal law prohibits
human conduct likely to “gravely threaten the life of a member of a
protected species,” it cannot be used to improve her living
conditions, according to the
ruling (PDF 3.3 mb) by Judge Ursula Ungaro in the Southern
District of Florida.
“We very much disagree with the decision, and we will be
appealing it,” said attorney Jared Goodwin, who represents the
plaintiffs — including the People for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals (PETA), the Animal Legal Defense Fund and Orca Network.
Over the objections of attorneys for Miami Seaquarium, the judge
said the plaintiffs have a right to sue the aquarium, but Lolita’s
care and well-being falls under a different law: the Animal Welfare
The judge noted that the National Marine Fisheries Service,
which is responsible for marine species under the ESA, had
previously stated that keeping threatened or endangered species in
captivity is not a violation of the ESA. NMFS also deferred
enforcement activities to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
While the ESA prohibits listed species from being “harassed,”
Judge Ungaro said the term takes on a different meaning for animals
held in captivity, since the law is designed to conserve species in
the wild along with their ecosystems.
The judge took note of the complaints about Lolita’s living
conditions, including the small size of her tank, harassment by
white-sided dolphins that live with her and the lack of shade or
other protection from the weather. But those aren’t conditions to
be judged under the ESA, she said.
“Thus, while in a literal sense the conditions and injuries of
which plaintiffs complain are within the ambit of the ordinary
meaning of ‘harm’ and ‘harass,’ it cannot be said that they rise to
the level of grave harm that is required to constitute a ‘take’ by
a licensed exhibitor under the ESA,” she wrote.
Judge Ungaro also cited statements made by NMFS in response to
comments from people who want to see Lolita released into a sea pen
or possibly into open waters. Such a release, “could itself
constitute a ‘take’ under Section 9(a)(1) of the act,” she said,
“The NMFS noted concerns arising from disease transmission
between captive and wild stocks; the ability of released animals to
adequately forage for themselves; and behavioral patterns developed
in captivity impeding social integration and affecting the social
behavior of wild animals,” the judge wrote.
Jared Goodman, the plaintiffs’ attorney, said the judge
needlessly applied a separate definition of “harassment” to captive
versus wild animals. Conditions at the aquarium are clearly
harassment for Lolita, he said, and the Endangered Species Act
should provide the needed protection.
The Animal Welfare Act, which should require humane treatment
for captive animals, is long out of date and needs to be revised
based on current knowledge about marine mammals, he said.
The same plaintiffs filed a new lawsuit in May against the
Department of Agriculture for issuing a new operating license to
Miami Seaquarium without adequately considering the conditions in
which Lolita is being kept. Previously, a court ruled that the
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service acted properly when it
renewed the license for Miami Seaquarium each year, because the law
does not require an inspection for an ongoing permit.
That is not the case with a new license, which was required when
the Miami Seaquarium came under new ownership as the result of a
stock merger in 2014, according to the lawsuit. Federal inspectors
should have reviewed the legal requirements to certify that
Lolita’s tank and other facilities met the standards before issuing
a new license, Jared said. According to documents he obtained
through public disclosure requests, it appears that the federal
agency simply “rubber-stamped” its previous approvals, he said,
adding that a formal review would show that the aquarium in
violation of animal welfare rules.
As the legal battles go on, it is difficult to see how Lolita is
any closer to being “retired” to a sea pen in Puget Sound where she
was born, although Howard Garrett of Orca Network and other
supporters have developed a plan for Lolita’s return and even have
a specific site picked out. See “Proposal
to Retire the Orca Lolita.” (PDF 3.5 mb).
Meanwhile, with SeaWorld’s announcement
that it will no longer breed killer whales or force orcas to
perform for an audience, a new group called The Whale Sanctuary
Project is looking for sites to relocate whales and dolphins that
might be released. The project has received a pledge of at least $1
million from Munchkin, Inc., a baby product company. For details,
check out the group’s website and a
press release announcing the effort. I should point out that
SeaWorld officials say they won’t release any animals.
The Southern Resident killer whales appear to be making their
annual excursion into Central and South Puget Sound — up to a month
later than normal.
As I write this, a group of whales — believed to be J pod — is
heading south along the eastern shoreline of the Kitsap Peninsula.
The video was shot yesterday morning by Alisa Lemire Brooks.
So far, nobody seems to have a good idea why the whales are
late. Typically, they spend their summers in the San Juan Islands,
then begin checking out the rest of Puget Sound in September.
Presumably, they are looking for salmon to eat. We know their
preference is for chinook, but they will eat coho and chum if
that’s all they can find.
In the fall, chum salmon are abundant throughout much of Puget
Sound, and they often become the main food source for all three
pods of killer whales. J pod, however, is the one that spends the
most time in the Salish Sea (the inland waterway that includes
Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia).
On a stormy Sunday night, the first day of November, all three
pods headed south past Port Townsend and into Puget Sound, as
reported by Orca
“All of October, we waited patiently as we followed the reports
of Js, Ks, and Ls following chum salmon runs far to the north when
typically they follow the chum into Puget Sound,” states Orca
Network’s sighting report from Sunday.
“We have been compiling these Sighting Reports since 2001, and
this was the first October to come and go without the Southern
Residents,” the report continues. “Come morning, many joyous people
will perch themselves atop favored viewpoints, on nearby bluffs,
and along the many shorelines in hopes of seeing the beloved J, K
and L pod members-including perhaps their first glimpse of any of
the new calves who might here. We do hope they find plenty of
On Monday, whale researchers — including Ken Balcomb of the
Center for Whale Research and Brad Hanson of the NOAA’s Northwest
Fisheries Science Center — met up with the whales heading north
from Seattle. Late in the afternoon, the orcas split up. K and L
pods continued north, and J pod headed south.
Brad told me that he was as surprised as anyone that the whales
did not venture south before November. “I’ve been scratching my
head over that one, too,” he said. “It was very strange.”
The whales did stay around the San Juan Islands longer this
year, he noted, which might mean they were getting enough chinook
to eat. Then they moved north into Canada, perhaps finding salmon
in other areas besides Puget Sound.
Yesterday, the first whale sightings came from Maury and Vashon
islands in South Puget Sound, where the whales — believed to be J
pod — turned around without heading up through Colvos Passage, as
they often do. By nightfall, they were between Kingston and
Edmonds, where Alisa Brooks shot the video on this page.
This morning, they were headed south again from Whidbey Island,
passing Point No Point. As I post this about 3 p.m., they are
somewhere around Kingston.
Howard Garrett of Orca Network saw the whales go past Whidbey
Island. “They were traveling fast with lots of porpoising,” he told
me, referring to the high-speed maneuver that shoots them along
above and below the surface.
We can expect the whales to stay around these waters as long as
December. But, as orca experts always tell me, if you expect killer
whales to do something, they are just as likely to do something
Here’s a population update, if you missed the recent news:
The orca baby boom continues with the birth of a sixth calf
since last December. The baby, designated J-53, was spotted off the
west side of San Juan Island on Oct. 17. The mother is J-17, a
38-year-old female named Princess Angeline. The calf has two
sisters, J-28 named Polaris, and J-35 named Tahlequah, and a
brother, J-44 named Moby. The newest whale in J pod also has a
6-year-old niece named Star (J-46), born to Polaris, and a
5-year-old nephew named Notch (J-47), born to Tahlequah.
While the birth of new orcas is encouraging, I also need to
mention that 50-year-old Ophelia (L-27) has been missing since
August and is presumed dead by most people. She outlived all four
of her offspring.
The total number of whales in the three pods now stands at 82:
28 in J pod, 19 in K pod and 35 in L pod. This count, maintained by
the Center for Whale Research, does not include Lolita, the orca
taken from Puget Sound and now living in Miami Seaquarium.
Lolita, the Puget Sound orca kept for 44 years at Miami
Seaquarium, has been declared a member of the endangered population
of Southern Resident killer whales.
Advocates for Lolita’s “retirement” and possible release back to
her family say the action by NOAA Fisheries is a key step in the
effort to free the 48-year-old whale. The next step would be a
lawsuit filed under the Endangered Species Act, and advocates say
they are prepared for that eventuality.
A news release issued today by
NOAA Fisheries plays down the effect of listing Lolita among
the endangered orcas:
“While Lolita will now share the endangered listing status of
the population she came from, the decision does not impact her
residence at the Miami Seaquarium. Lolita is a killer whale that
has resided at the Miami Seaquarium since 1970.”
The original listing created an exemption for captive killer
whales, an exemption that was challenged in a petition filed in
2013 by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
“NOAA Fisheries considered the petition and concluded that
captive animals such as Lolita cannot be assigned separate legal
status from their wild counterparts.”
NOAA received nearly
20,000 comments on the proposal to list Lolita as endangered,
and many expressed hope that Lolita would be returned to her home.
But that would go against the wishes of Miami Seaquarium, which
does not plan to give her up.
“Lolita has been part of the Miami Seaquarium family for 44
years. Just because she was listed as part of the Endangered
Species Act does not mean that she is going anywhere. Lolita is
healthy and thriving in her home where she shares her habitat with
Pacific white-sided dolphins. There is no scientific evidence that
the 49-year-old post-reproductive Lolita could survive in a sea pen
or the open waters of the Pacific Northwest and we are not willing
to treat her life as an experiment.”
As stated by NOAA Fisheries in the news release:
“While issues concerning release into the wild are not related
to this Endangered Species Act listing decision, any future plan to
move or release Lolita would require a permit from NOAA Fisheries
and would undergo rigorous scientific review.
“Releasing a whale which has spent most of its life in captivity
raises many concerns that would need to be carefully addressed.
These concerns include disease transmission, the ability of
released animals to adequately find food, difficulty in social
integration, and that behavioral patterns developed in captivity
could impact wild animals.
“Previous attempts to release captive killer whales and dolphins
have often been unsuccessful, and some have ended tragically with
the death of the released animal.”
Howard Garrett of Orca Network, a longtime advocate for
returning Lolita to Puget Sound, said he expects that concerns
raised by the agency can be overcome, as they were with Keiko
(“Free Willy”). Following Keiko’s movie career and a fund-raising
campaign, the killer whale was returned to his home in Iceland and
learned to feed himself. Still, it seemed he never fully integrated
with wild whales that he encountered, and nobody knows if he ever
found his family. Keiko died of apparent pneumonia about two years
after his release.
Howie insists that the situation with Lolita is entirely
different, since we can identify her family, including her mother,
L-25, named Ocean Sun. The mom is estimated to be 87 years old and
still doing fine.
Plans have been developed to bring Lolita to a sea pen in Puget
Sound, providing care and companionship, such as she gets now.
Then, if she could integrate with L pod, release would be a likely
option. In any case, Lolita would have much more room to move
about, Howie says.
Getting Lolita listed as endangered is important, he said,
because she will be covered by the Endangered Species Act, which
makes it illegal to harm or harass a listed species. A court would
need to decide whether confinement in a small tank constitutes harm
or harassment, he said, but some evidence is provided by the 40 or
so orcas taken from Puget Sound that died well before their
The decision is certain to spur on the debate about whether the
killer whale would be better off living out her life in
now-familiar surroundings or giving her a taste of freedom with the
risks that come with moving her to open waters.
Howie has been working with PETA attorney Jared Goodman on a
potential lawsuit against Miami Seaquarium to improve conditions
“We are prepared to do whatever is necessary to ensure that her
newly granted protections are enforced,” Jared told me. “I cannot
speak specifically about what PETA will do next.”
Jared said he needs to know whether NOAA Fisheries will take any
enforcement action before he proceeds with a “citizens lawsuit”
under the ESA.
Talk of Lolita’s release into the wild is premature, he said.
The goal is to transfer her back to her original home in the San
Juan Islands and place her in a large protected pen. Only after
determining that release is in her best interest would that idea be
furthered and developed into an action plan.
Meanwhile, PETA is preparing for oral arguments in March before
the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on another case involving Lolita.
The organization, along with the Animal Legal Defense Fund,
contends that conditions in the Miami Seaquarium constitute abuse
under the federal Animal Welfare Act. The specific conditions at
issue are the size of her tank, her ongoing exposure to sun and her
lack of animal companionship.
A lower court ruled that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has
discretion to determine what constitutes acceptable conditions,
despite written guidelines, when granting permits to zoos and
Howard Garrett addressed the issue of abuse in a news release
“Our society doesn’t like animal abuse, and the more we learn
about orcas the less we can tolerate seeing them locked up as
circus acts. The legal initiatives that led to this ruling have
been brilliant and effective, as the mood of the country shifts
from acceptance to rejection of captive orca entertainment
enterprises. Things that seemed impossible a year ago seem doable
Today’s determination was not a surprise, as I addressed the
logic of the federal listing when it was proposed a year ago. My
Water Ways on Jan. 28 includes links to previous discussions
UPDATE, Oct. 4
Orca Network reported a brief appearance of J pod this week near
San Juan Island: “On Wednesday, October 1, J pod plus L87 Onyx
and a few K pod members shuffled in small groups spread out up and
down the west side of San Juan Island for over eight hours, then
returned around midnight and continued vocalizing near the Lime
Kiln hydrophones for another few hours.”
As chum salmon swim back to their home streams in Puget Sound
this fall, three killer whale pods — the Southern Residents — can
be expected to follow, making their way south along the eastern
shoreline of the Kitsap Peninsula.
These forays into Central and South Puget Sound could begin any
day now and continue until the chum runs decline in November or
December. The Southern Residents, which typically hang out in the
San Juan Islands in summer, have not been spotted for several days,
so they are likely somewhere in the ocean at the moment, according
to Howard Garrett of Orca Network.
This year, Orca Network has created a map of good viewing sites
to help people look for whales from shore. As the orcas move south
into Puget Sound, Orca Network’s
Facebook page becomes abuzz with killer whale
sightings. Observers can use the information to search for the
whales from shore.
From my experience, it takes a bit of luck to find the orcas,
because they are constantly moving. But the search can be fun if
you consider it an adventure and don’t get too disappointed if you
don’t find the whales right away.
Howie said expanding the network to include more land-based
observers can help researchers track whale movements and
occasionally go out to pick up samples of their fecal material or
food left over from their foraging, helpful in expanding our
knowledge about what they are eating.
Whale reports may be called in to Orca Network’s toll-free
number: (866)-ORCANET, emailed to email@example.com, or posted
on Facebook, www.facebook.com/OrcaNetwork.
The new Viewpoints Map shows locations where killer
whales have been sighted in the past, or else they lie along a
known route of their travels.
I told Howie about a few good viewing locations in Kitsap
County, based on my experiences, and he said he would welcome ideas
from others as well.
“It’s a work in progress,” Howie said. “They just need to be
locations that are public and accessible.” If you know of a good
whale-watching spot, you can contact Howie or his wife Susan Berta
by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If offering a location for the map, please give a clear
description of the site and state whether you have seen whales from
that location or just believe it would work based on the view of
Some people have expressed concern that real-time reports of
whale movements may encourage boaters to go out and follow the
orcas in Puget Sound, disturbing their feeding behavior at a
critical time of year. But Howie says Orca Network has increased
its reporting through the years and has not heard of many
“It seems like a potential problem that never really happens,”
Winter weather and rougher seas makes it difficult to find the
whales from the water, Howie noted. As in summer, boaters are
required by federal regulation to avoid interfering with their
travels. See the “Be
Whale Wise” website.
When reporting whale sightings to Orca Network, observers are
asked to list the species, location, time, direction of travel and
approximate number of animals. When reporting killer whales, the
number of adult males with towering dorsal fins should be noted.
Also report any behaviors, such as breaching, spy-hopping or
feeding. Good photographs are especially valuable.
Sighting reports can be found on the Orca Network
page or Twitter
feed. One can also sign up for email alerts from the website, which
includes reports of recent sightings as well as archives going back
to 2001. The site also tracks news and research developments.
As Howard stated in a news release:
“We are very fortunate to live in a place where we can look out
from nearby shorelines and see those majestic black fins parting
the waters. We are thankful for the hundreds of citizens who report
sightings each year, providing valuable data to help in recovery
efforts for the endangered Southern Resident orcas.”
UPDATE, June 7, 2013
Orca Network reported last night: The L12s, who had been with J pod for a two days, departed late
in the afternoon June 2, then returned June 5 with most, if not
all, of the rest of L pod. These 60+ orcas traveled up and down
their familiar route from south of San Juan Island well into
Georgia Strait for the past two days, passing Lime Kiln Lighthouse
this evening, heading south.
June is Orca Awareness Month, as proclaimed by Gov. Jay Inslee,
and whale observers are now waiting for all three pods to get back
together for their annual salmon feast in the Salish Sea.
In previous years, the three Southern Resident pods might have
shown up by now, but it would not be surprising to see them as late
as the end of this month or even early July.
J pod has been around our local waterways following an unusual
absence, as I reported in
Water Ways last month (May 16). As of last night, J pod was
near Stuart Island, which is just south of the Canadian border,
according to a report from Capt. Jim Maya of Maya’s Westside
Charters. Jim, who sent the photos shown on this page, called it
“one of my best evenings ever on the waters of the San Juan
Earlier this week, J pod was seen several times with 10 members
of L pod, known as the L-12 subpod, which includes a year-old calf,
The rest of L pod and K pod have not been back for awhile,
although K pod was spotted along the west side of Vancouver Island
on May 20. K pod is the one tracked for three months this past
winter by researchers with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Water Ways, April 5.
A female killer whale named Tokitae remains in an aquarium in
Miami, but a future Washington state ferry will carry her name for
years to come.
The Washington State Transportation Commission named two new
ferries today, choosing Northwest Indian names. And both names —
Tokitae and Samish — are associated with killer whales, said Howard
Garrett of Orca Network, who attended the commission meeting. See
WDOT’s news release (PDF 29 kb).
“I was reserving excitement until it happened,” Howie told me.
“Then it was, ‘Wow, they really did this!’ I am reinvigorated with
all the feeling of support.”
He says naming the ferry could indirectly help the cause of
relocating Lolita/Tokitae, although the action carries no
endorsement of any kind.
“It demonstrates an understanding and awareness of her
predicament, and it honors her and her family,” he said. “I think
that goes a long way.”
The second ferry was named for “Samish,” which means “giving
people.” It is the name of a tribe that once ranged from Northern
Puget Sound into the Cascade Mountains. It’s also the name for
J-14, a 38-year-old female orca who became a grandmother in
So, if the ferry Tokitae is named for an orca, where did the
orca get her name?
The answer to that question goes back to 1970, when a
veterinarian from Miami’s Seaquarium, Jesse White, came to Seattle
to select an orca to be trained for public viewing.
“He had a couple to choose from, and he chose this young
female,” explained his daughter, Lisa White Baler. “They really
bonded right away.”
As Lisa tells it, her dad saw something special in the young
whale and wanted a name that would fit the orca’s beauty, courage
“He was in a gift store, probably buying gifts for myself and my
brother when he saw something with ‘Tokitae’ on it … and he decided
that had to be her name.”
When the young whale arrived in Miami, the owners of the
aquarium decided to change her name to Lolita.
Howard Garrett says it was one way to divest the animal of her
history, allowing people to believe that she was just taken off a
shelf, not captured from the open waters of Puget Sound. As the
story goes, the name Lolita was chosen because she would become the
young bride of an older male killer whale named Hugo, also from
Puget Sound. (Check out the Wikipedia summary of the
Vladimir Nabokov novel.) The two orcas performed in shows
together until Hugo died in 1980.
Lisa says her father, while serving as staff veterinarian,
argued that the marine mammals at the aquarium needed bigger
quarters. Later in life, her father got to know researcher Ken
Balcomb, a San Juan Island resident who was studying the orca
families. Dr. White came to support Lolita’s return to Puget Sound,
according to Lisa.
Lisa, who was born in 1966, says she recently realized that she
is the same age as Tokitae/Lolita, and she is especially thrilled
for the ferry to be named after the whale.
“I grew up with her,” she said. “My father died in 1996, and so
much of his legacy is left for me to deal with. I am thrilled and
excited for all the people who have become Toki’s champions.”
In Miami, Lisa said, trainers still use the name “Tokitae” or
“Toki” when working behind the scenes; she’s only “Lolita” for an
audience. Some of the trainers signed the petition to name the
ferry after her.
Lisa said she would like to visit Puget Sound when the new ferry
is launched or at the time of an official naming ceremony. She says
she feels a special pull to this area.
Howard Garrett says he reluctantly uses the name “Lolita” in his
campaign to bring her back, because that is the name the public
“Tokitae is her Northwest name,” he said, “and this (new ferry
name) helps connect her to her family. The minute she touches her
home waters, she loses ‘Lolita.’”
UPDATE, Nov. 13, 2012
We still don’t know much about the methods that campaigns use to
persuade voters, including the mining of Facebook data. But
ProPublica brings us some information in an article titled
“Everything We Know (So Far) About Obama’s Big Data Tactics.”
While this doesn’t have much to do with water issues, it certainly
ties into the email that Susan Berta received on election day.
Earlier today, Susan Berta of Orca Network received what appears
to be a computer-generated email from President Obama’s campaign
headquarters. The email, probably part of a final push for votes,
has generated some election-day levity.
Here’s the message:
“Hey Susan — don’t wait a moment.
“Share this on Facebook with Lolita and xxxx — and tell them to
vote today. They live in battleground states where, even at this
time on Election Day, this is still anybody’s race. They’re more
likely to vote if you remind them — and when the polls close,
you’ll know you gave President Obama a nice last-minute
Lolita, of course, is the killer whale from Puget Sound who has
spent most of her life in a tank in Miami’s Seaquarium. (See
Water Ways, Oct. 24.) Florida is indeed a battleground state
where both President Obama and Mitt Romney are looking for every
vote they can get.
Susan probably received the message based on her personal
Facebook page, where she is signed up as friends with numerous
advocates who would like to bring Lolita back home to Puget Sound.
Some people use the word “Lolita” in the name of their Facebook
page dedicated to the whale. No doubt some computer made the
connection between Susan and her “friend” Lolita, who is old enough
to vote … if only she were human.
Susan told me she didn’t want to post anything political on
Network’s Facebook page, but she couldn’t resist sharing this
email with a wider audience. I told her this isn’t political; it’s
Now, if whales were given the power of the ballot, what kind of
voting block would they become? And how would candidates appeal to
this minority group?
The Center for Whale Research has reported the apparent absence
of two additional Southern Resident killer whales as a result of an
encounter last Tuesday by center researchers Dave Ellifrit, Erin
Heydenreich and Barbara Bender.
In addition to L-112, the 3-year-old female found dead near Long
Beach in February, and J-30, a 17-year-old male who has not been
seen since December, the research team reported that two older
females appear to be missing. They are L-5, estimated at 47, and
L-12, estimated at 78. (Their ages are estimates, because the
annual census that keeps track of every birth and death began 36
“We will wait for a couple more good encounters with L pod
before writing them off to make sure they were not just missed,”
the researchers said in their report
of the encounter, which also includes 10 photos.
A few quick notes on Earth Day activities this weekend.
First, if you haven’t been to Pacific Science Center
in Seattle lately, you may be surprised by some of the new events
and exhibits on tap for this weekend.
Of special note is “Science
on a Sphere,” a new permanent exhibit that uses computers and
video projectors to animate a globe, which is used to demonstrate
atmospheric changes and the effects of heating and cooling across
the Earth’s ocean and land masses.
Special programs on the sphere Sunday include “Chasing The Rain”
at 10:50 a.m. and 2:20 p.m. along with Oceans, Earthquakes &
Tsunamis. The exhibit, provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, is similar to spheres installed in about 80
locations throughout the world.
“To the Arctic 3D,” being shown throughout the day in the
Boeing Imax Theater, presents an up-close look at a landscape of
immense glaciers, spectacular waterfalls and snow-crusted peaks
while telling the story of a polar bear and her cubs. Check ahead
Check out the
Earth Day page for other events at Pacific Science Center on
Meanwhile, Orca Network is holding its annual “Welcome the Whales
Day” tomorrow on Whidbey Island. Costume-making and a critter
parade are part of the fun. On the educational side, Bruce Mate,
director of the Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute,
will discuss gray whales and the animals he has tracked throughout
the Pacific Ocean to discover their migration patterns.
For local events, I wrote a piece in the
Kitsap Sun about Earth Day activities in Kitsap County.