A whale of a workshop set for Coupeville

Some of the region’s best experts on Pacific Northwest whales will present new information about orcas and humpbacks and the habitats that support them.

Educational displays and materials will be also available throughout the “Ways of Whales” workshop Saturday, Jan. 23, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Coupeville High School Performing Arts Center.

“This annual workshop has become a favorite regional gathering of whale experts and those who want to learn more about the whales,” said Susan Berta, co-founder of the sponsoring Orca Network. “Naturalists, researchers, educators, or anyone who thrills at seeing whales and wants to know more about the amazing cetaceans that frequent our shorelines is welcome.”

The 2010 workshop will feature the most recent and interesting research on Southern Resident orcas and humpback whales, and will include photos and stories about the whales, how they relate to each other, and how they are much like humans in many ways.

This year’s presentations include:

• Dr. Mike Ford of NOAA Fisheries on recent Southern Resident orca DNA paternity research.

• Dr. Fred Sharpe of the Alaska Whale Foundation will enchant listeners with stories and photos of his insightful research on the feeding habits of humpbacks in southeast Alaska.

• Howard Garrett of Orca Network will present an update on the status of the Southern Resident orcas, and a quick “Orca 101” to set the stage for the day.

The day will end with “Another Dam Panel,” including Michael Garrity, Washington State Conservation director for American Rivers; and Robert Elofson, River Restoration director for the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe; and Steve Mashuda, attorney in the Northwest office of Earthjustice, to discuss the important issues of salmon and habitat restoration, and keeping orcas fed.

The Captain Whidbey Inn is a sponsor of the Ways of Whales Workshop, and workshop participants are invited to a no-host gathering at the inn’s lounge after the workshop. Cost of the workshop is $25. Lunch will be available on-site for $7 if pre-registered.

For more information and registration visit, call Orca Network at 360-678-3451, or email

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