Spyhopping A73s - Springer, Spirit and Storm. (Photo courtesy Oceanwise MML 18)

Last week more than 500 people tuned in for “Telling the Story of Springer,” a webinar co-sponsored by NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and NOAA Fisheries Service. The event featured a short presentation about Springer and my new book Orca Rescue, followed by a panel discussion with Bob Lohn, John Ford, Lance Barrett-Lennard, Lynne Barre and me.

Based on a poll taken at the beginning of the webinar, more than 60% of the people who attended did not know who Springer is. I hope we change that!

When I was managing teams for a software company, I learned that it takes four pieces of positive feedback to overcome the emotional impact of one piece of negative. We humans seem hard-wired to focus on the negative. And that was before the pandemic!

Springer’s rescue and return is an unqualified conservation success, and what inspired me to start The Whale Trail. My deepest hope is that in sharing this story we learn from it, and apply the lessons to the problems we face today – most especially the recovery of the endangered southern resident orcas.

Thanks to everyone who attended, and to the organizers. Thanks especially to Bob, John, Lance and Lynne for sharing their memories and insights. It’s always inspiring to revisit this story with the people who made it happen. The hardest part is bringing it to a close – we always run out of time long before we run out of topics, or questions.

Next year we have two big anniversaries to celebrate: the 20th anniversary of Springer’s return, and the 50th anniversary of National Marine Sanctuaries! Look forward to celebrating those with you. Nearly twenty years after she went  home, the orca who brought us together continues to awe, and inspire.

Springer (A73), Spirit (A104) and Storm (A116) 2021. (Photo courtesy Oceanwise).