The 72 foot blue whale was struck by a marine research vessel about seven miles off the coast of Fort Bragg earlier in the day. Local residents of the area were the first to see the massive whale. The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is the largest animal to have ever lived, being almost as big as a Boeing 737 and even larger than the biggest dinosaurs. But soon more people came to study the whale and to preserve the bones for future viewing.
A determined team of community volunteers decided to work together to turn the tragedy into something good. It soon became apparent that the immediate problem was what to do with the huge whale which was beginning to smell. It was too large to haul back out to sea. One of the local residents called Martin Mileck, the owner of Cold Creek Compost, to see if he could help. No one had ever tried to compost a whale, but Martin thought he could do it.
"I know I can compost this whale instead of sending her to a dump site," Martin decided. "We'll give the whale compost to schools and community gardens to grow food and flowers for people. For us there's no such thing as waste. Everything can, and should be, re-cycled."