The Port Townsend Marine Science Center has awarded Dr. Pete Schroeder of the National Marine Mammal Foundation with the 12th annual Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award.
"Pete embodies the spirit of the Eleanor Stopps award," said former Marine Science Center executive director Anne Murphy. "He is passionate about conserving the Salish Sea and gives his time, effort, knowledge, support and enthusiasm to this cause. What he does makes a difference. Most importantly, he gives so many of us the confidence, connections, contributions and understanding we need to work as a community and conserve the Salish Sea ecosystem."
The Stopps award recognizes significant contributions in the protection and stewardship of our North Olympic Peninsula natural environment, paying tribute to Eleanor Stopps of Port Ludlow, whose vision, advocacy and determination exemplified the power and importance of citizen leadership.
Throughout his 50-year career of studying marine mammals, Schroeder has applied his learning to improve the lives of these animals, through direct veterinary care, advocacy and education.
He has worked as a veterinarian for the U.S. Navy, as the lead veterinarian for the 2003 rehabilitation of Springer the orca calf — the only successful capture, translocation and reintroduction of an orca calf ever achieved — and worked as a consultant and contributor to NOAA Fisheries' Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery Plan. He was nominated for the Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award by Murphy and Chrissy McLean.
In Clallam County, Schroeder has supported restoration and conservation work through involvement with Valley Creek Es tuary Project, North Olympic Salmon Coalition, Friends of the Field and North Olympic Land Trust.
He has been instrumental in establishing conservation easements on farm and timberlands, and understands and promotes the concept that a healthy Salish Sea starts in its adjoining watershed, according to a press release.
Schroeder's community service with the Port Townsend Marine Science Center has been instrumental in three key projects: the Orca Project, the center's Marine Mammal Stranding Network and the recent Gray Whale Project in May.