Washington couple agrees to allow whale carcass to decompose on property

A Washington couple recently said yes to an unusual request from NOAA Fisheries, and has agreed to allow a 40-foot gray whale to decompose on their waterfront property in Port Townshend.

The couple, Mario Rivera and Stefanie Worang, volunteers for the Port Townshend Marine Science Center, and agreed to have the whale towed to the property so scientists could study how the whale decomposed and was recycled back into the ecosystem.

“That’s the primary reason we did it,” Rivera said in a NOAA press release. “How many opportunities do you get to watch something like this happen right out in front of you?”

NOAA is seeking other landowners to volunteer their properties for the decomposition of other gray whales, which have been washing up in unsually large numbers this year.

Thirty gray whales have been stranded in Washington so far in 2019, according to NOAA.

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