Alki Beach cleanup will honor seal pup Sandy Aug. 3: Part of Seal Sitters Year of the Seal: Sentinels of the Sound

You can have a direct positive impact on the health of the marine mammals of Puget Sound Aug 3 by being part of a beach cleanup sponsored by West Seattle based Seal Sitters.

Head of the organization, Robin Lindsey provided a post from her site www.blubberblog.org that explains the event:

Seal Sitters' Year of the Seal: Sentinels of the Sound project is intended to raise awareness of the impact that humans have on our fragile marine ecosystem. Harbor seals (who do not migrate and are year-round residents) and orcas, both animals at the top of the food chain, are especially hard hit by pollutants from storm runoff and microplastics which are stored in their blubber. A 2005 study showed that harbor seals of South Puget Sound were 7 times more contaminated with PCBs than those of Canada's Georgia Strait. The orcas of Puget Sound are the most contaminated marine mammals in the world.

All marine life is endangered by marine debris and pollution. Many, many thousands of marine animals and sea birds die each year from derelict fishing gear, marine debris and pollution. They are entangled and drowned by nets and gear. Strangled and contaminated by plastics.

This year's beach cleanup events will once again be in honor of seal pup Sandy who was rescued from a West Seattle beach in August of 2011, rehabilitated at PAWS Wildlife Center, and then released back to the wild in January of 2012. Sandy was fitted with a satellite tag (glued to her fur which would be shed when she molted) to monitor her success in the wild and provide valuable data to biologists about foraging patterns of rehabbed seals. Sixty-six days later, Sandy was found dead, entangled in derlict fishing line off the Edmonds Pier. Read more about Sandy.

Sandy has truly put a face on pollution. Trash on the beach becomes treacherous in the water. You can make a difference! Help keep our beaches clean and our sea life safe. Read more about marine pollution here.

We would also like to honor the memory of the Arroyos gray whale who stranded and died in 2010. The necropsy revealed that there was no food in the thin juvenile male's stomach - only human trash.

Seal Sitters, along with co-sponsors Alki Community Council and Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, will hold a cleanup of West Seattle's Alki Beach on Saturday, August 3 from 9am-noon. We will assemble at Alki's Statue of Liberty plaza (61st Ave SW and Alki Ave SW). Please RSVP via email for this event so we have enough bags and equipment on hand.

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