The boundary waters of the U.S. San Juan and Canadian Gulf islands, known as the Salish Sea, are one of the highest density whale-watching areas in the world. The boating traffic is high in the peak whale-watching season of May--September, not only for watching whales but for other activities such as sailing, kayaking and fishing. Whale Watching in the San Juan Islands >>
The Whale Museum's Soundwatch Boater Education Program was created to respond to that traffic and its effects on marine species.
Although known primarily for educating whale watchers, Soundwatch also monitors areas within the San Juan County Marine Stewardship Area.
For a detailed program description of Soundwatch, click here. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read this file.)
For a description of the Soundwatch Kayaker Education Program (K.E.L.P.), click here.
2013 Summer Internships with Soundwatch!
The Soundwatch Boater Education Program is seeking interns to assist with the successful and internationally acclaimed education and monitoring program working to reduce vessel disturbance to killer whales and other marine wildlife in the Haro Strait region of Washington State and British Columbia, Canada. Soundwatch needs assistants to help conduct seasonal vessel patrols to educate boaters on regional guidelines and regulations and to collect data while monitoring vessel activities around whales. Data from this important program characterizes vessel activity trends around marine wildlife and is used to promote better boater compliance and to inform marine mammal management strategies such as state and federal vessel laws and guidelines.
Internship based in Friday Harbor, WA, approximately 35-40 hours per week, May-September, variety of tasks both in an office setting and in the field on the patrol boat and/or shore based whale watch areas.
Please click here to download detailed information. Internship is unpaid. Shared housing at reasonable cost, is likely available.
Current Regulations & Guidelines (including Federal Law and Be Whale Wise) -- click here
Notices for Boaters
The Soundwatch Boater Education Program updates boaters on advisory notices relative to marine wildlife and resea
rch in the San Juan area. Download Boater Notices here.
NOAA Small Vessel Permitted Research
KELP Education Program and the vessel permit requirements for San Juan County Park
Boater Education Guidelines and Marine Stewardship Area Maps
The Soundwatch Boater Education Program promotes responsible boating practices for boaters and kayakers in the San Juan/Haro Strait Region. Download boater guidelines and marine stewardship area maps here.
Boater Education Slide Shows
Boater Education Program offers Marine Stewardship Trainings to a variety of different commercial and recreational boating and kayaking clubs and organizations. Download Slide Shows of the Soundwatch Boater Education Be Whale Wise Program and the Kayaker Marine Stewardship Training.
Soundwatch Program Reports
The Soundwatch Boater Education Program generates annual program activity reports and vessel data reports characterizing vessel trends Southern Resident killer whales. You can view these reports and recent papers that have been presented here.
2007 ANPR Comments by The Whale Museum
2009 Comments by The Whale Museum on the Proposed Federal Regulations
Click here to review summaries of Vessel Incidents
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