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Sea Otter Savvy

Sea Otter Science And Community Outreach

 Sea Otter Savvy in Japan

A Research Intern’s Journey to the Otter Side of the World
By Samantha Hamilton

The author tracking tagged sea otters at Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, CA. Photo by Leilani Konrad

japan Fig 1Fig 1 The author collecting data on human disturbance to sea otters in Elkhorn SloughSundays aren’t for rest and relaxation; here at Sea Otter Savvy, they mean adventure. Since becoming an intern last year, my typical Sunday is spent behind binoculars observing wild sea otters at Elkhorn Slough (Fig. 1). So much time has been invested there that I’ve come to see the estuary as a second home and its otters as old friends. Weekends this last September passed in the same way—scoping for otters and recording their behaviors—but far from the same place. In an exciting shift I traded the familiar Slough for Japan, where I participated in data collection for ongoing sea otter studies in Dr. Yoko Mitani’s lab.

Their research took me to the remote Hokkaido coast, which represents the eastern-most extent of the current species range. Fewer than 50 individuals can be found there, and we owe this to the historic fur trade that infamously culled sea otter populations around the Pacific Rim (Ravalli, 2009). The species was absent from Japan for over a century before transient individuals began turning up in the late 1900s (Hattori et al., 2005) and a permanent population took hold in 2014 (Kogen, 2023). Today the country’s sea otters are on the road to recovery, but progress has been slow and research limited. Dr. Mitani and her lab are among the few paying scientific attention to this little-studied population, and I joined in on their two-week excursion to eastern Hokkaido (Fig. 2) to learn more about this emergent population.

Fig 2 Map of stops made in eastern Hokkaido during the author's trip.

First Stop: Moyururi Island

After a plane flight, a bus trip, and three train rides, this jetlagged intern made it to the eastern Hokkaido coast. From there, our team traveled by boat to the nearby Moyururi Island. This study site is one of two known locations in Japan that supports a permanent sea otter population. The island is 0.12 square miles in area, which is equivalent to 1/250th of San Nicolas Island’s size. Its coast has lush eelgrass beds, rich prey, and minimal human activity—all conditions that attract sea otters to the small island.

Prey aren’t just abundant off Moyururi Island, but they are also exceptionally diverse. We know this from foraging observations made during the trip, which revealed a wide range of species eaten by the island’s sea otters. Bivalves made the most common and crunchiest snacks, with the sound of cracking shells sometimes carrying all the way to our boat. When we weren’t watching sea otters forage, the Mitani team was busy conducting benthic surveys. They consisted of a professional diver collecting invertebrate samples from a total of 22 sites. Once brought to the boat, the invertebrates were counted, measured, and packaged for further processing at the Hakodate Research Center. These surveys provide information about the density, size, and biomass of prey around Moyururi Island—information important for understanding prey availability and the impact of otters on benthic communities.

Focal follows represented another priority during fieldwork. In teams of two, we observed an individual otter and recorded its behavior each minute over a 30-minute duration. This method of data collection allowed us to measure sea otter activity budgets, or the frequency and duration of various behaviors. The target of my first focal follow was an active mom-pup pair, who spent the observation period foraging for bivalves and interacting with each other. They were a fun duo to watch, and my memory of their frisky play fighting has become my most treasured souvenir from the trip.

A census was also conducted from boat around Moyururi Island and the adjacent Yururi Island. With binoculars in hand, we scanned for sea otters in the choppy water and recorded the locations of those we were able to spot. Together, the islands were found to support just over a dozen individuals. This figure may seem small, but it was smaller just decades ago. The sea otter count has gradually increased since the first sighting was made in the area in 1986 (Hattori et al., 2005)—an encouraging sign of their recovery. The Mitani lab will keep tracking their numbers, and fingers crossed that they go up from here.

Hokkaido sea otter mom and pup having a nap. Photo by Michel Godimus (@yosomono.photography)

Second Stop: Cape Kiritappu

It’s our goal to hit the water and collect data off Moyururi Island daily, but sometimes the weather has other plans. When there is strong wind or high swell, fieldwork is abandoned and we try to make the best of these days by exploring our surroundings in eastern Hokkaido. On one such day, the Mitani team decided to visit Cape Kiritappu (Fig. 3A & B)—the other site in Japan where a permanent sea otter population can be found (Kyodo News, 2020).

japan Fig 5Fig. 4 Cape Kiritappu sea otter resting in heavy fog. Photo by Samantha HamiltonUpon arriving, Cape Kiritappu was shrouded in a blanket of dense fog. We walked along the edge of its steep cliffs, squinting hard and hoping to make something out in the ocean. Our optimism gradually began to evaporate as none of us could find the sea otters we came for. But as we started to retrace our steps, I spotted a dark dot in the fog bank and grabbed my binoculars to confirm my suspicions. Eureka! The dot, though barely visible, proved to be a resting sea otter that had no idea how thrilled the researchers above were to see it. Between sharing smiles and exchanging high-fives, we took turns looking at the sleepy creature lazily drifting on the ocean surface (Fig. 4).

The otter came into and out of visibility so many times that I couldn’t help but think that it might have been a figment of my imagination, a too-good-to-be-true apparition floating in a dreamy cloud. Perhaps I so desperately wanted to see the species succeed in recolonizing Japan that I conjured one up. Knowing that Kiritappu may have once supported more sea otters made it difficult to accept the lone dot that now rested off its coast. As we headed out, I wondered if we would ever be able to bring back the Kiritappu of the past and replace the one-off, phantasmal otter with more.

Fig. 3 (A) View off a cliff’s edge and (B) steps at Cape Kiritappu. Photos by Samantha Hamilton

Third Stop: Ochiishi

In the small coastal community of Ochiishi, the Mitani lab prepared to deliver presentations at two of the town’s schools. Students at Ochiishi Junior High and Elementary Schools were eager to learn about the recovering sea otters in their backyard and welcomed us with abundant enthusiasm. During the lecture, they gazed in amazement at Dr. Mitani’s slides (Fig. 5A), surprised that the otters were much bigger than they imagined, and asked thoughtful questions about their prey and pups. Thanks to the Nemuro City Museum of History and Nature, students were able to feel just how thick sea otter fur is by petting an adult pelt (Fig. 5B). The museum’s curator also brought in a taxidermized pup, which gave students their first up-close encounter with such a young sea otter.

I was blown away by the students’ high level of engagement and feel confident that we inspired many to become lifelong sea otter champions that day. Dr. Mitani’s final message—to take good care of the ocean and strive for peaceful coexistence with its creatures—seemed to resonate with them, and we left the schools hopeful that the next generation will make better stewards than our own.

Fig. 5 (A) Dr. Mitani giving a lecture to Ochiishi Junior High School students and (B) author with adult male Asian sea otter pelt.

Final Stop: Home

japan Fig 7Fig. 6 Eastern Hokkaido train tracks taken for the author's homeward journey.Before I knew it, my one-of-a-kind adventure in eastern Hokkaido was coming to an end and it was time to catch the train out. Packed and ready to go, I hitched a ride to the small station (Fig. 6) from a Mitani lab member and claimed a window seat on the train to wave goodbye. A surge of gratitude came over me as the train started to pull forward—gratitude for the Mitani lab’s hospitality and for the opportunity to see the recovering population firsthand. For sea otters to overcome the odds and call Japan home again is nothing short of a miracle. Their resilience has enabled them to evade near-certain extinction, and today they are on track for a conservation success story. I look forward to reuniting with these sea otters, whenever that may be, and until then I will root for their continued growth and expansion from afar.

        またね、ラッコ! (Catch you next time, otters!)

References

Hattori, K., Kawabe, I., Mizuno, A. W., & Ohtaishi, N. (2005). History and status of sea otters, Enhydra lutris along the coast of Hokkaido, Japan. Mammal Study, 30(1), 41-51. https://doi.org/10.3106/1348-6160(2005)30[41:HASOSO]2.0.CO;2

Kogen, M. (2023, August 1). Sea otters raise more pups in Hokkaido as range extends. The Asahi Shimbun. https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14971330 

Kyodo News. (2020, October 3). Rare wild sea otters create tourist boom for Hokkaido town. https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/10/a20c64163135-feature-rare-wild-sea-otters-create-tourist-boom-for-hokkaido-town.html

Ravalli, R. (2009). The near extinction and reemergence of the Pacific sea otter, 1850-1938. The Pacific Northwest Quarterly, 100(4), 181-191. https://www.jstor.org/stable/40492245

About the author

Samantha Hamilton has a Master of Science from Johns Hopkins University, and has just been accepted as a PhD candidate at Kyoto University where she will be studying the foraging ecology of Hokkaido's sea otters under Dr. Yoko Mitani. Samantha has been research intern for Sea Otter Savvy since 2022. 

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Hearts and Minds: the 9th California Coastal Wildlife Disturbance Symposium

On November 14, 2023, from atop the coastal dunes of Moss Landing, an impassioned group convened with the common goal of protecting the wildlife of the California coast and beyond. Nearly 70 participants at the 9th Annual California Coastal Wildlife Disturbance Symposium came to hear presentations from eleven speakers addressing topics in two sessions: user perspectives and outreach messaging as they relate to wildlife disturbance. They joined from as far away as Australia to share their knowledge and experience. They came to meet others from government agencies, non-profit organizations, and local businesses to find common ground, common goals and ways to work together to foster awareness and stewardship.

Wildlife Disturbance: Perspectives from Different User Groups

The morning session explored the different perspectives on wildlife disturbance from within coastal communities. Annie Daw, manager of the Bolsa Chica Reserve Watch program, started off the day by sharing an inspiring story of local volunteers coming together to reduce disturbance to wildlife disturbance in a busy southern California ecological reserve. The unique relationship between surfers and coastal wildlife was highlighted by two speakers: Jess Fujii, Sea Otter Program Manager for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, provided an insider perspective on the cautionary tale of notorious surfboard-stealing otter 841, and 18-year-old Dakota Peebler (a founding member of the amazing Heirs to Our Ocean, see video below) shared results from her summer project studying the spatial and sociological interactions between sea otters and surfers at two popular Santa Cruz surfing spots. Lessons learned: repeated and, at times, inescapable exposure to humans can have dangerous consequences for both humans and wildlife (See USFWS's 841 FAQs), action by local communities can create powerful conservation action, and that the motivations of people are highly relevant to the nature of their interactions with wildlife and the risk of disturbance. See an overview of Dakota’s results in a virtual version of her poster. Another poster was presented by Samantha Hamilton a recent master’s graduate from Johns Hopkins University, who’s study (conducted with Sea Otter Savvy) evaluated the behavior of kayakers using cameras vs. those not around sea otters at multiple California coastal locations. What’s your guess? Do camera users tend to stay closer or farther than other kayakers? Have a look at Samantha’s poster here to learn her results.

Dave Grigsby (shown in photo above), owner of the Monterey Bay area’s Kayak Connection, gave a refreshing and candid account of the challenges faced by marine recreation businesses and the strategies his shops have adopted to minimize the impact of their customers on coastal wildlife. Dave importantly emphasized the importance of a collaborative attitude among businesses, to work together to protect an ecosystem from which they derive like benefits. Kayak Connection is one of the kayak rental and tour businesses recognized and certified by Sea Otter Savvy's Community Active Wildlife Stewards program.

Wildlife law enforcement representatives are always popular speakers with attendees at this symposium, and Officer Sam Reigner, an Enforcement Officer for NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement, gave accounts of a few case studies from his experience ensuring compliance with federal laws enacted to protect wildlife off the coast of California. To leave us inspired by the power of collaboration, Richard “Dick” Ogg, a Northern California commercial fisherman, shared his ocean stewardship perspective and how the local fishing community work together to minimize their impact on the coastal ecosystem. From volunteers, photographers, and surfers to commercial fisherman, business owners, and law enforcement officers, the small actions of individuals synergized to create powerful community-based stewardship.

Wildlife Disturbance: Messaging Strategies

In the afternoon, speakers focused on the challenges of changing human-behavior—fostering a social norm where respecting the boundaries of wildlife are the only acceptable actions. As I often say, this is a long game. There are no simple answers, only the wisdom that comes from trying and succeeding or failing. Adam and Giancarlo from The Marine Mammal Center drove home the importance of research and evaluation—understanding the who, what, why, and where or wildlife disturbance—as critical first steps toward creating and targeting effective messaging. In some cases understanding the breadth of the human behavior hurdles is daunting—attendees were caught off guard by some results of their research, in particular, that even the knowledge of the consequences of disturbing wildlife would not deter a significant percentage of people from knowingly doing it. Even if the conclusions are disheartening, knowledge can only strengthen our strategies in the long run. For her second appearance at our symposium, Sara Melena, Communication Specialist for the National Park Service, provided an update on their iconic messaging aimed at preventing both wildlife disturbance and wildlife-related human injury in National Parks. If you are wondering what I mean by iconic, you only need follow their social media or park websites. The stuff is golden.

As a keynote to the wildlife conservation messaging theme, Sarah Bekessy from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology covered highlights from an article on which she was a co-authored: Five Lessons to Guide More Effective Biodiversity Conservation Message Framing.

“Communication and advocacy approaches that influence attitudes and behaviors are key to addressing conservation problems, and the way an issue is framed can affect how people view, judge, and respond to an issue. Responses to conservation interventions can also be influenced by subtle wording changes in statements that may appeal to different values, activate social norms, influence a person’s affect or mood, or trigger certain biases, each of which can differently influence the resulting engagement, attitudes, and behavior.” Kusmanoff et al. 2020

Have you noted the use of the term “social norm” as a goal of wildlife conservation messaging? What does that mean? Social norms are defined as the informal rules that govern behavior in groups and societies by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Psychology. They are not rigid, but plastic, ever-changing in response to trends in human beliefs, expectations, and common knowledge. Social norms are powerful constraints on human behavior, with social sanctions providing the consequences of violating them. I’d argue a social norm of respecting the needs of wildlife exists in a portion of the population. Will we be able to use messaging and the power of active community stewardship to push that social norm passed a tipping point? The goal is to foster and support communities that demonstrate care for nature and wildlife to such an extent organizations like Sea Otter Savvy become unnecessary in all but supportive role.  I will happily accept that demotion.

Would you like to learn more from these presenters? You can review their talk summaries/abstracts HERE. The individual videos of talks from this event will be posted on Sea Otter Savvy's YouTube channel (as soon as we finish editing them). 

 

Above: Examples of messages creating a large and reduced psychological distance. The would-be campaign poster on left does nothing to reduce psychological distance between the threat to whales and the reader because it has an image of a whale in its natural state (abstract for most people) and emphasizes the threat occurs far away (Antarctica). In contrast, the poster on the right reduces psychological distance by increasing the vividness, emphasizing the threat, making the whale relatable to humans (i.e., the whale is making a plea for help, has tears), avoiding mention that the hunt occurs far away, and seeking to engender a connection to the reader by referring to “our whales. From Kusmanoff et al. 2020

The participants of the first California Coastal Wildlife Disturbance Symposium in 2015

History of this Symposium

Building on a seabird-focused Wildlife Disturbance Symposium organized by Seabird Protection Network in 2013, Sea Otter Savvy has partnered with the Respect Wildlife project to organize this wildlife disturbance symposium since 2015. Our goal from the start has been focused on maximizing the effectiveness of diverse efforts to mitigate human-caused disturbance to coastal wildlife by fostering agreement upon common strategies and messaging, creating a forum for the sharing of new ideas, and supporting collaboration.  After a full day of talks and activities, attendees were invigorated and inspired to return home with new solutions and connections. With human population steadily encroaching on wild lands, our remaining wild animals need champions more than ever. It is clear from the growing interest and participation in this symposium that the momentum of this movement to prevent human-caused wildlife disturbance is growing. Let’s keep the wave of awareness moving forward and work together to create a more peaceful world for our wild neighbors.

Attendees represented these agencies and organizations:

NOAA, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey Bay Aquarium, National Park Service, CA State Parks, US Fish and Wildlife Service, CA Dept of Fish and Wildlife, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Bureau of Land Management, NOAA–NMFS Office of Law Enforcement, Seabird Protection Network, Sea Otter Savvy, MPA Collaborative Network, Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Johns Hopkins University, Heirs to Our Oceans, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Bay Net and Team OCEAN, Friends of the Elephant Seal, The Marine Mammal Center, Kayak Connection, Monterey Bay Kayaks, Monterey Bay Eco Tours, Jeff & Wendy Photography, and others...

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Our Consumption of Wildness

By Gena Bentall

Sea otters in California are commonly found in heavily urbanized areas. Photo by Gena Bentall

I have many vivid memories of the stories of individual tagged wild sea otters from the thirteen years I spent tracking them every day...

consumption santacruz nlarocheThe process of data collection has detachment built in—we stand on shore, 100s of meters from the sea otters we’re tracking, with high-powered telescopes that can zoom our perspective right onto the sea otter’s belly. Connecting with the same individuals every day—the goal of the research was to resight every tagged sea otter in our study area daily—unavoidably cultivated respect and affection for sea otters as individuals. We were lucky. We could experience that intimate bond without proximity. We often joked that the sea otters had no idea of the extent to which they were being spied on. I suspect most others living on or visiting the California central coast have not had the privilege of such relationship with wildness. In fact, I suspect they’ve been starved of it.

consumption figureS. Hamilton 2023 unpublished dataIn the early days of human development, a connection to wildness was an immersive, unavoidable part of existence. Our very survival depended upon deep understanding of nature. As civilization progressed, significant innovation was directed and distancing and protecting ourselves from the wild—housing, agriculture, the meat industry, urbanization. In the era of AI and handheld technology we may be farther from our early bonds to the plants and animals
around us than ever before. During our current observations of humans and sea otters for Sea Otter Savvy, we often see kayakers experiencing wildlife through their smart phones. This is so frequent we have a field on our data sheet to record it (see figure form our data at right). I often describe people as having a “screen mentality” about wildlife. For many, their only experience of wild animals has been through the screen of their television, computer, or phone and, once confronted with a real world wild creature, the view through a screen offers a sense of comfort, safety and, unfortunately, detachment.

With their combination of charisma and accessibility, sea otters are frequent targets of pursuit—usually headed their way in the form of kayakers, scuba divers, and boaters—with the goal of a photo for Instagram or that yearned for personal encounter. It has been a central mission of our organization to work within communities to reduce disturbance to sea otters caused by these frequent too-close approaches. But the chronic exposure to people can lead to what might seem at first glance to be the opposite effect: habituation--the loss of a wild animal’s natural aversion to humans. A quick internet search can bring up a list of viral videos of kayakers with habituated sea otters aboard their boat—celebrating the encounter, lauded and envied by followers—with no comprehension of the harmful impact of such encounters to the sea otters. How could this innocent interaction be harmful?

consumption sea otter biteThis girl was lucky this habituated sea otter only got a mouthful of her fleece and not her arm. Photo by Gena BentallDirect interaction with sea otters can be dangerous to pets, people, and otters. Sea otters are carnivores with powerful jaws and sharp teeth that can inflict serious injury. Sea otters are dangerous animals and incidents of sea otter aggression towards people or pets are also likely to result in the otter being removed from the wild. Inevitably, it will be the sea otter that suffers the ramifications. Sea Otter Savvy is battling against a viral torrent of naivete cloaked as affection as we work to discourage these hazardous interactions.

The world witnessed a viral tsunami of another sort in the coverage or Santa Cruz’s surfboard stealing sea otter 841, whose story has ascended to legend (and even the name of a local ice cream flavor). For me, her story has not been an amusing one of nature getting revenge on encroaching humans, but rather a cautionary tale of what our inescapable presence has diminished in these animals. In her lifetime, sea otter 841 (indicating that she is the 841st sea otter released through the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s rehabilitation program) was exposed to humans from birth to present day. Rehabilitation, while designed to avoid habituating its customers to humans, unavoidably exposes them to the shapes, smells, sounds, and world of humans. From there 841 was released into the waters of Monterey Bay where humans are ubiquitous and escape from their presence impossible. Whether 841 has traits that predispose her to bold behavior we can only speculate, but the human factors—kayakers, boaters, paddleboarders, surfers—had her literally surrounded.

Once photos and videos of her hit the media, the public interest was engaged at full throttle, and the codependent relationship of information supply and demand took on a Godzilla-like stature. Like the snake ouroboros, the story consumed its own origins and induced curious 841 fans to seek out sea otters not just at her Santa Cruz home but at all our Central California coastal study sites. We observed record disturbance during the weeks of peak media coverage. Sea otters were “in” and the moral of 841s story was lost.

Below are photgraphs taken in an afternoon overlooking Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz during the "surfing sea otter" frenzy. Top: A couple in a small boat ignores the "alert" warning behavior of the sea otter raft and eventually causes them all to dive and flee. Photo By Brad Peebler. Bottom: This photographer separated a female sea otter with a pup from the raft while taking her picture. Photo by Gena Bentall.

Habituation—the diminishing of loss of a wild animal’s aversion to humans—is tricky to define scientifically. There has been little research into the cause and effect of habituation in sea otters (graduate students in search of a thesis, drop me a note) bit it seems likely that repeated, prolonged exposure to human activities is a factor. Especially damaging are exposures that offer a resource reward like feeding and providing a kayak haul out. These same interactions are perceived as enchanting to people because they fulfill the need for that precious and rare intimate bond with nature. Unfortunately, our hunger for connection with wildlife is paired in time and space with the need of wild animals (and plants too, whose voice is even harder to hear) to have distance from us. i

We have retained the ancestral longing for wildness and perhaps perceive its absence consciously or in the form of an undefined emptiness.  But we have forgotten or lost the skills needed to interact appropriately. I sometimes refer to this rare trait as “animal sense”. We as humans can learn though. And as cultures are overtaken by population growth, urban sprawl, pandemics, and addiction to technology, learning is our obligation.

My words may cast me as pessimistic, but the contrary is true. Were it not for my belief in the possibility of change, Sea Otter Savvy, and its hopeful message that the communities and neighbors of sea otters can be their heroes, could not survive. Awareness, and a willingness to adapt how we assert our place on the planet, can overtake the damage being done. I believe it must.

Let us relearn or redefine what coexistence with wildlife means in the modern world! For the sea otters of California, there is no place they can escape to be free of human proximity and the threat that inevitably imposes. Of all wild creatures, we are the ones that can make choices about how we behave. We are the ones who have the self-awareness to recognize our impacts on other species and adjust our behavior to minimize harm. Coexistence no longer has the space to be completely anthropocentric. We are not separate or above our wild neighbors, they are part of our ecology and sustainable coexistence allows all to thrive. In this ever more crowded world, we may have to find ways to feed our hunger to connect with wildness, without irretrievably consuming it.

consumption good behaviorGuided kayakers in Elkhorn Slough manage their group span and distance to view sea otters safely and responsibly. Photo by Gena Bentall

Learn to be a good neighbor to wildlife:
Be Sea Otter Savvy: https://www.seaottersavvy.org/viewing-guidelines
National Marine Sanctuaries Wildlife Viewing Guidelines: https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/wildlife-viewing/
Respect Wildlife: https://www.respect-wildlife.org/

consumption bio Gena sunsetGena Bentall is the Founder, Director, and Senior Scientist for Sea Otter Savvy. She has spent countless hours over more than 20 years observing sea otters and humans together in their ecosystem. 

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FINAL SOAW logo 2023

Throughout Sea Otter Awareness Week 2023 (September 24-30) you can meet volunteers and staff from SeaLife Stewards, Sea Otter Savvy, The Pacific Grove and Santa Cruz Museums of Natural History, the Central Coast Aquarium, and the Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History to learn about and experience wild sea otters from the best viewing locations in California. Volunteers will be ready to help you be expert otter spotters with binoculars and spotting scopes, answer your sea otter questions, and share how you can help protect sea otters and be Sea Otter Savvy! Click on the Sea Otter Awareness Week icons on the map below to find the station nearest you. Each location icon has a photo of the site and hours when volunteers will be present. 

This year's theme, "Restoring Missing Links," recognizes that sea otters remain absent from large portions of their historical range while celebrating the active efforts of conservation groups to restore a continuous population of these charismatic creatures and other missing elements along the Pacific coast. Explore all the activities and events taking place during Sea Otter Awareness Week 2023 at https://defenders.org/sea-otter-awareness-week

Get Sea Otter Awareness Week 2023 official swag HERE.

7 Days of Sea Otter Awareness Quiz! 

How sea otter savvy are you?

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter throughout the week of September 24-30, 2023 for daily posts to increase your sea otter awareness and ace our SOAW quiz! 

  • The quiz will be published at 12:00 PM September 30, take he quiz by scanning the QR code below or by clicking this HERE.
  • Answer each question–our posts throughout the week will help you 
  • TAke the quiz by 5:00 pm PST, October 6, 2023
  • Winning entry will be drawn randomly from entries scoring 100%
  • Winner will receive a Sea Otter Savvy t-shirt of their size and color choice!

7 days quiz QR code SOAW23

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