Journal of the San Juan Islands


Stedman takes the lead of local orca advocacy group

July 18, 2013 · Updated 4:05 PM

Bruce Stedman / Contributed photo

Bruce Stedman is the new executive director of Orca Relief Citizens' Alliance.

Stedman's appointment was announced July 16 in a press release circulated by Orca Relief.

"With the whales again in decline, the work of taking pressure off this population has never been more important," Orca Relief founder and chairman Mark Anderson said. "I have no doubt that Bruce's remarkable background will serve us, and the whales, well."

That background includes a stint as the first-ever curator of the Friday Harbor Whale Museum, as well as 32 years working in the fields of marine and whale conservation, toxic site cleanups and in freshwater resources.

Trained at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stedman has been director of five organizations, taught environmental courses at Harvard, Tufts and Western Washington University, and worked with various governmental and tribal leaders, as well as private industry executives, during his career.

“Recovery of the endangered Puget Sound orca is one of the most important environmental goals for the coming decade, and I am truly eager to bring my ideas and energy to this task," Stedman said. "I appreciate the support I have already received from Orca Relief Citizens Alliance members, and I look forward to working with many other people of the Pacific Northwest who care about this iconic species.”

A stated goal of the ORCA is to create a protection zone for the Southern resident killer whales off the west side of San Juan Island, in Haro Strait.  According to the advocacy group, it is the missing piece of regulatory protection that would provide the population, classified as endangered under federal law, its best chance to avoid plummeting into extinction.



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