On ten majestic days scattered throughout February, March, and April, Atlantic Marine Conservation Society (AMSEAS) is granting permission to come aboard an open-air vessel to observe seals in their natural habitat.
Presented in partnership with Group for the East End, in addition to taking in the gorgeous East End scenery, experts will speak about the varied species of seals that call the waters adjacent to Long Island home, point them out as they make an appearance, as well as discuss ways to assist with the conservation of marine environment.
“I recently returned from a gray seal pupping research trip on Muskeget Island, off Monomy and Cape Cod, with NOAA Fisheries Service Northeast Fisheries Science Center,” AMSEAS chief scientist Robert DiGiovanni shared. “We usually take a small boat to the island to study these animals and this year had success with a larger research vessel.”
The excursions, which are akin to the research cruises AMSEAS biologists like DiGiovanni take part in along the Atlantic Coast throughout the winter, will last approximately two hours.
The annual seal watching cruises will launch on Saturday, February 8. Voyages leave from the Stony Brook Marine Station in Southampton.
Seal watching cruises will be offered on Saturday, February 8 from 1 to 3 p.m., Sunday, February 9 from 1 to 3 p.m., Monday, February 17 from 9 to 11 a.m., Saturday, February 22 from 1 to 3 p.m., Sunday, February 23 from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, March 7 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, March 21 from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 4 from 10:30 to 12:30 p.m., Sunday, April 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 18 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
“Despite the cold, it’s always exciting to see these animals in their natural habitat,” DiGiovanni added. “Though our cruises in Shinnecock Bay are not as intense, it’s a very unique way for the public to experience these animals.”
Admission to the seal watching cruise is $30 per person and reserving a spot in advance is required. Since attendees will be out on the open water, people are advised to dress warmly.
Stony Brook Marine Station is located at 8 Little Neck Road in Southampton. For more information, visit www.amseas.org .