Two Decades of Healing the Sea

It was supposed to be a big, outdoor celebration. Instead, dozens of supporters of the SeaDoc Society toasted the marine research organization’s 20th anniversary this week via ZOOM.

What a grand celebration it was!

Toasting SeaDoc’s 20th birthday from home.

When SeaDoc founders Kathy and Ron McDowell moved to Orcas Island, WA, they felt loved it, but felt more science was needed to conserve the Salish Sea. The University of California-Davis liked the idea, and donated nearly 2 million dollars to start the SeaDoc Society. Twenty years later, it’s still going strong as a flagship program of the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Since 2000, the SeaDoc Society has conducted and sponsored vital scientific research in the inland waters of the Pacific Northwest—the Salish Sea. And this rich and vibrant ecosystem offers plenty to study:  37 species of mammals, 172 species of birds, 253 species of fish, and more than 3,000 species of invertebrates.  Much of the life in this ecosystem is both threatened and cherished by the nearly eight million people living and working around the Salish Sea.  

One of SeaDoc’s unique strengths is translating science into action and promoting positive change.  The organization works as a catalyst—bringing together interested parties to share information, forge common understandings, and design region-wide solutions.

If you missed the party, here’s a preview: 

Now it’s time to think about the next 20 years. As SeaDoc science director Joe Gaydos quoted from The Salish Sea:  Jewel of the Pacific Northwest:

“In our dream for the Salish Sea, we see a day when we all recognize and know our marine resources better than we now know corporate logos. We will watch and monitor the ecosystem better than we now watch the weather or monitor the NASDAQ or Dow Jones Industrial Average. And we will restore and protect the Salish Sea as if our lives and our livelihoods depend on it—because they do.”

It’s up to us restore and protect all the life in the Salish Sea.  Supporting SeaDoc is one way to help, and it’s easy at:


    1. Thanks, Geri. The SeaDoc Society is as committed as ever to use science to protect the Salish Sea. I’m optimistic there will be even more support for its work in the coming years. Thanks for reading.

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