Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Melisa Pinnow

Melisa Pinnow has quite a lot going on these days. She's a Senior at Spring Street School (Graduating next month and will attend Evergreen State College), she's a certified marine naturalist who works on the Odyssey for San Juan Excursions, one of the whale watch outfits based here in Friday Harbor. She volunteers at the Whale Museum, on other boats and out at Whale Watch Park, and she's an activist working towards educating the public about the plight of both captive and wild whales from around our waters.

She can identify all of the Southern Resident orcas, as well as some Transient and Northern Resident orcas. She has just recently launched a very informative website, which includes sections devoted to Orca identification help, a blog of recent encounters, and a page devoted to getting a wild caught Southern Resident orca called Lolita back to her home and family here in the islands. She also made a video about Lolita, which can be viewed on her website.

And if all that is not enough, she also maintains a Facebook page with biographies on whales that have passed, with the purpose of keeping their memory alive. With this, people will know more about them in hopes that knowing more will mean caring more.

Quite an extrordinary young woman, following her passion and doing extrordinary things. So much that she's the first person on This is Our Town to get two photos!* We are lucky to have her in our community.

*The pasta company 2nd photo doesn't count - it's a machine photo and simply a close-up detail shot of what the machine does.