Comments on: On The Green Road: Wanted: Seal Instructor for Environmental Education The EPA Blog Mon, 03 Aug 2015 15:49:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: Bob Wed, 16 Feb 2011 01:39:13 +0000 I agree you are lucky. The seal could have rolled the kayak, hope you guys were expert kayakers. If you don’t know how to roll and wet exit getting back in the kayak in deep water is not easy, plus the water I don;t think is real warm where you were at.

By: Diane Tue, 28 Sep 2010 06:00:36 +0000 You are very lucky to have seen a seal! Thanks for this great blog entry. I have seen quite a number of marine animals, but not yet a seal. By the way, my name is Diane, and I am a co-author of an eBook on panic disorder attacks. I do believe going to the sea and taking some time off relaxes a person! Great blog!

By: JR Tue, 02 Sep 2008 13:56:53 +0000 The MMPA can be found here: Harassment (which is included in the definition of a “take” pursuant to MMPA) is statutorily defined as any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild; or, the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering but which does not have the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild. Incidental (as opposed to intentional) harrasment is an excepted activity. This is what happened in this case, and it appears that the wildlife viewing guidelines were clearly followed. (

As I see it the importance of this blog entry was to raise awareness about the MMPA and the importance of knowing that seals can sneak up on you when you are in the water.

By: Sally G Tue, 02 Sep 2008 13:26:12 +0000 I don’t know much about regulations, never kayaked, but do know not to disturb wildlife or habitat. Trusting that you were within allowed kayaking area, I found the story a lot of fun—a truly serendipitous event.
Dana, was the Midway Island employee sleeping in a restricted area (no defense environmentally), or was he fired for sleeping on the job (also a no-no, but for a different reason)? If he was sleeping on his own time in a nonhabitat area, then he couldn’t control the behavior of the seal, and may have been treated harshly. This is not, however, to make light of MMPA regulations, which are to be treated seriously at all times.

By: Dana Brown Sat, 30 Aug 2008 20:45:54 +0000 Obviously Dale youd donot understand the MMPA, and the intent, you are not to be anywhere near to even have a Marine Mammal interact with you let alone climb aboard the kayak.

I didn’t think you asked the mammal to “come aboard” either, but that is why you were not to be anywhere near the interaction point.

THe guy that got fined it Midway Island and lost his job, I am pretty sure did not have a lot of humor after, nor the “whale watchers” and “Dolphin watchers” that were cited this last year.

Your dit the drift yet? You violated the law, whether intentional or unintentional, YOU were supposed to know that, and a “reasonable” professional or Scinetist would know that.

Hurbris anyone?

By: Mary Jo Sat, 30 Aug 2008 09:50:21 +0000 I suggest a psychiatric evaluation and corresponding treatment if this is something that has driven you crazy. I also propose the use of spellcheck before submission of comments.

By: Dale Fri, 29 Aug 2008 22:13:52 +0000 As a marine ecologist I have the greatest respect for the environment and the organisms that occupy it. While I could go into the details about my exact location (NOT in the kelp forest) and proximity to the animals (greater than 100 ft) that was not the intent of this blog. As you can imagine, or not, having a seal try to climb onto your kayak is somewhat surprising. We didn’t ask him to come over and hitch a ride nor did we kayak over to see him. I can assure you that our kayaking activity was well within the bounds demanded by the MMPA. While environmental regulations are certainly serious, humor is often an effective way of bringing these regs to the attention of the public. Thanks for reading!

By: Dana Brown Fri, 29 Aug 2008 20:44:08 +0000 “I could think was “Great. I can see the headlines now: EPA employees found in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.” It wasn’t our fault officer, really!”

It makes NO difference whether you worked for EPA or if it was an “accident”. The Marine Mammal act is for “Stand off” of not only the animal but also the habitat. That is clearly defined, and this post shows the arrogance and lack of concern of regulations. Regulations are not only for “other than EPA” and that “environmentalists” are somehow “exempt”, while “corporations and employees of oil companies, et al, are somehow “violators even when it “wasn’t their fault”.

This is absolutly unbelievable. I worked out at the Midway NAS on the Lead Based Paint Abatment in 1996 during the handover to the USFWS. We had a guy that fell asleep on the beach and a monk seal came up and decided to sleep 20 feet from the guy. He got fined and thrown off the island.

Yet a recreational kayaker that “works for EPA’ and is self deluded to think they are more empathic and “care more” for the environment, made a left turn into a kelp forest and are suprised that a seal is wanting to grab a lift?

This was a violation of the Marine Mammals act, and should be prosecuted, and is exactly why most in the environmentalists world are not taken seriously. The whole attitude seems to be “Because we care about the plante and you don’t”the rules don’t apply to me.”

Am I the only one driven craxy with this attitude and flippant disregard of the regulations, that other who simply “made a mistake” and the fault was “the anuimal’s” are paying huge fines?

Where is the marine Mammal enforcement officer for EPA? And theis poster has the audacity to post their violation as a joke?

We either have laws and “need them”, or we have needless laws, which is it?

By: Joan Fri, 29 Aug 2008 16:44:02 +0000 Thanks for reminding us about not disturbing wildlife as we enjoy the great outdoors.
“Paddle Honey, Paaaaadle!”…LOL, you made my morning!