Geotourism in Skagit Valley - Tours and Mammal Research Work Together - Visit Skagit Valley - North Cascades National Park to Farmlands to Salish Sea

Geotourism in Skagit Valley – Tours and Mammal Research Work Together

Conservation and protection of the marine environment is a shared vision of Deception Pass Tours and Pacific Mammal Research.  Deception Pass Tours supports Pacific Mammal Research through the data collection of Harbor Porpoise sightings. In today’s constantly changing environment, it is vital to collect long-term data on marine mammals that will provide invaluable information on their populations, inform conservation measures, and help monitor the human impact on their environment.  Pacific Mammal Research is working to create and maintain a Photo ID catalog and sighting database of Harbor Porpoises who live in the Salish Sea.

Join Deception Pass Tours in the evenings from June – August and support Pacific Mammal Research on a 1.5-2 hour tour of Deception Pass and Minor Island Aquatic Reserve. Minor Island is connected to Smith Island by a low spit that is covered at high tide. Located mid-way between Admiralty Inlet and Lopez Island, Minor Island has a lighthouse and NOAA weather station, but many people mistake the area for a Navy ship when they see it from the shores of Whidbey Island.

Seals, Sea Lions, and Elephant Seals haul out and sunbathe on the shores of Minor Island for you to observe their beauty and wildness. There have been tours that have even seen Orcas rush the beach to take one of the many harbor seals at rest.

The Marine Mammal tour is a partnership with Pacific Mammal Research and gives guests an opportunity to learn more about the marine mammals in the Salish Sea, including Harbor Porpoises, Harbor Seals, Stellar Sea Lions, California Sea Lions, Otters, and Elephant Seals. There is also an opportunity to view any of the 300+ bird species that the tour frequently encounters on the water.

Pacific Mammal Research is a scientific research organization that studies free-ranging marine mammals in the Salish Sea to improve our understanding of their life history, behavior, social structure, and ecology within a dynamic and changing environment. Using traditional and innovative scientific techniques they provide information critical for conservation measures and create public awareness through education.