Joe Gaydos honored at Friday Harbor Film Festival

Friday Harbor Film Festival has announced it will be honoring Joe Gaydos as recipient of the 2019 Local Hero Award for his work as a senior wildlife veterinarian and science director for the SeaDoc Society.

The award is presented each year to a present or former resident of the San Juan Islands who has made outstanding contributions to quality of life, impacting people, animals, the arts, health, or the environment.

Gaydos will receive his award during the Festival’s Audience Choice Awards program on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. at the San Juan Community Theatre.

Gaydos’ research has focused on diseases that impact human and wild animal health in species like harbor seals, river otters, porpoise and killer whales. He also has worked on ecosystem-level issues including defining top principles for designing healthy ecosystems.

Gaydos is currently serving on Governor Inslee’s Killer Whale Recovery Task Force for Washington State.

He co-authored the bestselling book “The Salish Sea: Jewel of the Pacific Northwest” (Sasquatch Books), which received a Nautilus Gold Award.

His new book “Explore the Salish Sea,” which targets fifth and sixth graders, was released in April.

For more information about the Friday Harbor Film Festival, visit