This winter Atlantic Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) is hosting a series of scenic voyages that will most likely result in quite a few thrilling seal sightings. During the exciting and informative two hour cruises around Shinnecock Bay, AMCS biologists will speak about the multitude of seal species that call the waters around Long Island home, and also discuss how the community can assist with the conservation of the area’s marine environment.
“Seal cruises not only offer the public an opportunity to see the various species of seals that inhabit our local waters in their natural environment, but they also give people insight into our research efforts,” Atlantic Marine Conservation Society chief scientist Rob DiGiovanni explained.
The series will launch on Saturday, February 17 from 12:30 to 3 p.m., with additional cruises taking place on Saturday, March 3, Saturday, March 24, and Sunday, April 8.
“We are constantly studying the movements, behaviors, and health of populations of different marine mammals through land, water, and aerial surveys, satellite tagging work with partners, necropsies, and more,” DiGiovanni said. “This research helps us to better understand these animals and how we can promote conservation of the marine environment.”
Late last year, AMCS aided with the necropsy and removal of a deceased dolphin that was discovered by a member of the public near Montauk Lighthouse and a deceased humpback whale that was found days later at Atlantic Beach in Hempstead. Overall, in 2017, they responded to over 100 animal strandings.
The organization, which consists of biologists and volunteers who have decades of experience in marine mammal and sea turtle examination and response, is focused on raising awareness for the conservation of the marine environment through action. AMCS’s efforts includes treating cold stunned sea turtles, performing necropsies, assessing the wellbeing of whales, dolphins, sea turtles and seals, leading live whale and dolphin rescues, aiding stranded seals, sea turtles, whales and dolphins, collecting air, sea, and land based data, and informing the community through outreach and educational programs.
“Ticket proceeds from the seal cruises will help support our research program,” DiGiovanni noted. “We are eager to engage with those that join us on the cruises and through other events as conservation begins with all of us.”
Tickets are $25 per person, and AMCS Members receive 10 percent off. The cruises depart from Stony Brook Marine Station in Southampton, and this is an open air cruise, so make sure to dress appropriately.
Stony Brook Marine Station is located at 8 Little Neck Road in Southampton. For more information, visit www.amseas.org.