Target: Brenda Peterson, founder of the Seattle Seal Sitters
Goal: Thank this group of activists for protecting harbor seals in Seattle
Alki Beach Park in Seattle has been the home of harbor seals for thousands of years. The beach used to be a safe haven for seals to rest from swimming; today Alki is one of the most popular beaches in Seattle. There are many people and dogs on the beach at any given time, making it a dangerous and loud place for a seal to rest. The Seal Sitters are a group of volunteers who gather on the beach to protect the seals from danger, giving the seal a safe haven on land before returning to the water. This group of unpaid individuals gives their time to help these seals have a better life.
Before Seattle was inhabited, harbor seals would safely beach themselves on the rocks of Alki Beach to rest and regulate their body temperature. The seals were able to do this with no threat of a curious human or predatory dog interrupting their stay. Seattle is now a bustling metropolis, and Alki Beach is a destination for people who want to play Frisbee, build sand castles and let their dogs run off leash. Harbor seals that use Alki Beach are bothered by people who want to touch them and dogs that want to chase them. A group of people noticed the harbor seals’ lack of privacy while beaching and decided to do something about it.
The Seal Sitters wait on Alki beach until a harbor seal arrives to rest. The volunteers block off a 100 foot wide radius around the seal, not allowing people or other animals past the blockade. They wait until the seal is ready to go back into the water, staying as long as needed. Anyone interested may volunteer, there is no age limit. Training on harbor seal behavior and how to help if the seal is in danger is mandatory before volunteering; all training is free and provided prior to a shift. Volunteers make a huge difference in the lives of harbor seals on Alki Beach, allowing this to be a safe place for them to rest. Applaud the Seattle Seal Sitters for their time and dedication to harbor seals.
Dear Brenda Peterson, founder of Seal Sitters,
Alki Beach Park is a wonderful place for people to play Frisbee, children to build sandcastles and harbor seals to rest. The reason that all of these things can peacefully coexist at one time is because of your wonderful volunteer program: Seal Sitters. Because of the programs development, harbor seals can enjoy Alki Beach with no interference from curious people and critters.
Your program allows for people of all ages to help marine life and learn about caring for natural habitats. Seal Sitters are trained in how to block off an area for a seal to rest, and are educated on understanding when a seal needs help and how to assist. Adults and children alike become excited about helping harbor seals enjoy their rest peacefully, many giving the seals names and identities. Encouraging people to help animals that need extra assistance is invaluable.
Thank you for founding this amazing volunteer group and standing up for harbor seals. Change comes through education and compassion: both of these are advocated for by Seal Sitters, and both make a huge difference in the lives of harbor seals at Alki Beach Park.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: brentdanley via Flickr