Whale Trail Opening at Salt Creek – August 31st

The Whale Trail, a project to establish Washington State’s first network of viewing sites for whale watching, celebrates its official opening on August 31 with a celebration at Salt Creek Recreation Area on the Olympic Peninsula.

The Whale Trail currently includes 20 sites along the whales’ trails through Puget Sound and the coastal waters of the Pacific Northwest. It is being developed and implemented by a core team of partners including Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), NOAA Fisheries, People For Puget Sound, the Seattle Aquarium, The Whale Museum, and Coast Watch Society. The project was recently awarded a seed grant from The Russell Family Foundation.

“The Whale Trail presents a non-intrusive and environmentally responsible way to view wildlife,” notes Donna Sandstrom, Executive Director of the Whale Trail. “It is an important part of delivering the larger goal shared by so many individuals and organizations in our region – to prevent the southern resident orcas from going extinct, and to protect and restore the habitat that supports them.”

The Salt Creek Recreation Area celebration marks the installation of the Whale Trail’s first signs, which were funded by a WDFW ALEA grant with additional support from the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau and the Clallam Bay-Sekiu Chamber of Commerce. Signs are customized for each site to include information about the whales and other marine mammals that are most often seen at the site. Along Hwy 112, new signs were also recently installed at Freshwater Bay County Park, the Sekiu Overlook and Shipwreck Point.

“The Whale Trail will attract new and returning visitors to our area,” said Michelle Little of the Juan de Fuca Scenic Byway Association. “In addition to enjoying the spectacular views of the Strait, they will come away with a deeper understanding of the marine mammal populations who call it home.”

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