Sea Otter Awareness Week

September 18 - 24, 2022

20th Anniversary

Annually, throughout the last full week of September, we celebrate sea otters during Sea Otter Awareness Week. We encourage zoological and educational institutions, governmental agencies and communities to plan and undertake events that highlight sea otters. These activities include sharing stories, disseminating science and generating media that inspire a deeper awareness of these unique marine mammals, their ecological importance and the many challenges they face.

Path to Coexistence

This year’s theme reflects the challenge of managing human uses to sustain wildlife and habitat diversity. Coexisting with nature supports the health and resilience of all life.

“Simply put — coexistence is helping people share the landscape with wildlife and using innovative tools to reduce the conflicts that often occur with wildlife in their natural habitats.”

~ Defenders of Wildlife

Coexistence reflects a state where humans and wildlife adapt to living within shared landscapes, with minimal and tolerable costs to both. We cannot eliminate all human-wildlife conflicts and impacts. Still, we can reduce them and gain an awareness that coastal wildlife like the sea otter imparts significant value to the health and stability of nearshore ecosystems. We must remain mindful that when we harm nature, we harm ourselves. Many paths stretch before us that we will travel with the passage of time. Only time will tell whether we opted for a path to coexistence.

Heather Barrett designed another great logo this year. Within the image, discreet elements from the sea otter’s habitat blend into the picture. (Here’s an I Spy version of the logo for kids to search and color.) Heather placed tiny human silhouettes in the background to indicate our presence in the system at a safe distance from sensitive wildlife.

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Sea Otter Awareness Week 2022 logo

Events Calendar

Happy Hour with a Sea Otter Biologist

5:30pm-6:30pm PDT

Got a question about sea otters? Want an insider’s view on a day in the life of a California sea otter biologist? Join Sea Otter Savvy Director Gena Bentall and California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Colleen Young, MS—a biologist with years of experience counting, tracking, diving with, and doing necropsies on sea otters—as they discuss all things sea otter over cocktails at the Moss Landing Harbor. Follow @seaottersavvy and join this broadcast on Instagram Live.

Hosted by Sea Otter Savvy

Watsonville, CA

Elkhorn Slough Reserve Open House

10:00am - 4:00pm PDT

The Elkhorn Slough Reserve presents its annual Open House, sharing highlights from their work in conserving the Elkhorn Slough's wildlife and wild lands. Meet the teams researching and restoring salt marsh and eelgrass habitat in the Elkhorn Slough, and learn about the southern sea otter population from Ron Eby, lead monitor for the Reserve's Otter Monitoring Project. For full details and a lineup of talks and events for the day, visit: www.elkhornslough.org 

 

Recovering Sea Otters Increase Eelgrass Genetic Diversity and Show How Species Restorations Can Support Ecological Resilience

Noon PDT

By digging for food in eelgrass beds, sea otters increase eelgrass genetic diversity and make eelgrass more resilient to environmental change. Dr. Erin Foster of Fisheries and Oceans Canada will explain how the recovery of long-absent species like the sea otter can build resilience in today's ecosystems. 

Hosted by Marine Conservation Institute
A We Were Here Event

Join Defenders of Wildlife’s Sea Otter Facebook Group

Also follow our hashtags:

#SeaOtterAwarenessWeek

#SOAW2022

#WeWereHere

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Sea Otter
Joshua Asel

 

California Resolution

In June 2022, the California Legislature recognized the 20th anniversary of Sea Otter Awareness Week with Assembly Concurrent Resolution 169.

Read the full text of the resolution.

Sea Otter Viewing Stations

At various times during Sea Otter Awareness Week 2022 (September 18–24), you can meet in person with volunteer interpreters along the California coast at prime sea otter viewing stations around Monterey Bay, in Morro Bay, and at Port San Luis (Avila Beach). These volunteers will help you become expert otter spotters using binoculars and spotting scopes, answer your sea otter questions, and share information about protecting sea otters!

Check out the Sea Otter Awareness Week map, find the viewing station nearest you, and click on the location for the days and times when volunteers will be present.

See Map
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Southern sea otters float at Moss Landing, California.
Lilian Carswell/USFWS

Check out these Live Otter Cameras all year!

Detroit Zoo
Sea Otter Live Cam

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Sea Otter Cam

Oregon Coast Aquarium
Sea Otter Live Camera

 

 

 

We Were Here Sea Otter Stakeholder Survey

Take the Survey

Sea Otter Awareness Week is organized and sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife, Sea Otter Savvy, California Department of Parks and Recreation and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Wildlife and Wild Places

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