(Photo by Trileigh Tucker, from last Friday’s orca visit, with local researchers observing)
Missed getting this into our calendar! It’s also happening tonight – 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) – and with the intense interest in the fate of Puget Sound’s Southern Resident Killer Whales, this relates to the frequent questions about how what we do on land affects their health in the water. The announcement:
Pesticides and Orcas: Making the Connection
New evidence suggests that orcas are more sensitive to pesticides than we thought.
Lisa Hayward and Clement Furlong of the University of Washington Superfund Research Program (UW SRP) will present the story of a surprise discovery in genomics that suggests marine mammals may be much more vulnerable to organophosphates like chlorpyrifos than previously recognized.Their talk will cover evidence both of orcas’ vulnerability and also of their exposure in Puget Sound. Chlorpyrifos is a common pesticide recently in the news after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reversed a 2016 ban on it in a move later deemed illegal by a federal court. EPA appealed that decision in September and chlorpyrifos continues to be used widely on crops like wheat and apples.
About the speakers:
Lisa Hayward manages research translation for the UW SRP and has a background in endocrinology and science policy.
Clement Furlong is a principal investigator with the UW SRP and a world-renowned expert on the genetic and physiological basis of vulnerability to pesticides.
About The Whale Trail
The Whale Trail is a series of sites to view orcas and other marine mammals from shore. Our mission is to inspire appreciation and stewardship of whales and our marine environment.
Through our current sites and signs, including two on every Washington State ferry, we reach more than 50 million people each year. The Whale Trail is currently adding new sites along the North American west coast, from California to British Columbia.
The Whale Trail is led by a core team of partners including NOAA Fisheries, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Seattle Aquarium, the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, the Whale Museum. Donna Sandstrom is the Founder and Executive Director. Many members of the team first met on the successful effort to return Springer, the orphaned orca, to her pod.
Admission is $5 donation (TWT is a nonprofit) for adults – advance tickets are available online – no charge for kids.