Marina Beach Park in Edmonds has a new interpretive sign identifying it as part of The Whale Trail, a series of sites around the Northwest where the public may view orcas, other whales and marine mammals from shore. The Whale Trail is also a non-profit organization, formed through a collaboration of agencies including the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and NOAA Fisheries, along with non-governmental organizations such as the Seattle Aquarium and The Whale Museum.
There is another back story to the Whale Trail sign, according to Edmonds resident Jim Underhill, and it’s related to Edmonds’ former semi-pro soccer team, the Seawolves, which played last season at Edmonds District Stadium.
Last summer, Underhill was looking to tie the Seawolves to the orcas known to inhabit Puget Sound, with the goal of “making it an educational moment,” he said. He was directed to the Whale Trail organization, which noted that while Edmonds was part of the orcas’ migratory trail, the city was not included in the Whale Trail network.
After giving a Whale Trail representative a tour of the Edmonds waterfront, Underhill connected her with Renee McRae in the city’s Parks, Recreational and Cultural Services Department, and the rest — as they say — is history.
Funding to pay for the Whale Trail interpretive sign at Marina Beach Park comes from an ALEA grant (WDFW), and installation of the sign was done by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department. The Whale Trail’s mission is to inspire appreciation and stewardship of whales and the marine environment, with the shared vision of a fully-recovered orca population, thriving in a healthy ecosystem.