General Information about Seal Walks:
CRESLI seal walks will take place between November and May.
Please note that weather will play a significant role in
determining the seal walk schedule. Please call
CRESLI at (631) 244-3352 for schedule changes and
cancellations. The walks are approximately
1.2 miles round trip and take about 1 to 2
hours. These walks are suitable for children.
Please be prepared for the weather, i.e., wear warm clothing
(outerwear should be in muted colors) in layers. Hats, gloves, warm
waterproof shoes, and water are also recommended, as are cameras and
binoculars. For those without waterproof shoes, an additional dry pair of
shoes and socks (for the ride home) would be beneficial.Check the weather for Westhampton Beach and assume that the winds
will produce wind chill. It’s better to be a more-on, than a less-on, i.e.,
having more layers than you need is the right thing.
register for any CRESLI seal walks.
Registration will enable us to contact you regarding changes
harbor seals swimming instead of being hauled
Too many boats and too
on the shore
near the haulout on a spring-like day in December
and the seals had been obviously spooked off
the haulout site. Let's hope that this
isn't a regular occurrence this year. Looking
forward to real winter-like weather soon. PHOTOS
sATURDAY, dECEMBER 19, 2015
61 harbor seals (59 hauled out and 2 in the
The seals were originally split into two groups
seperated by 240 yards, a large group of nearly 31
and a second group of 15. The larger group
continued to increase in number and within 30
minutes grew to 55, while the second group remained
Within 45 minutes of our
arrival the seals from the secondary joined the others.
79 harbor seals hauled-out at Cupsogue just at sunrise. 1.5 hours
later 84 were hauled out until they were scared off the sandbar by
a vessel (NY 7372 JZ).
The vessel passed slowly south of the sandbar and
some of the seals were on alert, but most were
unaffected and remained on the haul-out site. The
vessel then stopped just east of the haulout and sat
for a mnute out of gear, then revved its engine
(still out of gear) and that caused the seals to
flush from the haulout. Within 40 seconds,
all 84 seals entered the water. The vessel then
proceeded to follow the seals towards the inlet.
The incident will be reported to NOAA Fisheries
44 harbor seals hauled-out The beautiful silence of the morning was pierced
with frequent and disturbing sounds of shotgun fire.
They sounded very close and were extremely loud. The
seals reacted by changing to vigilant behavior and
periodically bouncing in place while the guns
We saw about 50 hauled-out as we walked down the
road towards the viewing area. Once at the viewing
area, as the CRESLI Crew walked to the snow fence to
set up our equipment, while the rest of the people
waited alohng the edge og the road, we saw that the
seals had been flushed from the sand bar.
Everyone was asked to approach the snow fence in
small groups and wait patiently.
Our patience was rewarded with a sight that very few
people get to witness. We were able to watch
the haul-out process. From no seals-hauled to
to 94 seals hauled out over the course of 30
96 harbor seals seen and photographed about
at 11:25 AM.
Within 2 hours, unfortunately,
the seals had been flushed from the sandbar and only
30 remained swimming in the area. eye-witnesses
reported that many people were at the shore
across from the haulout and half of the seals
bolted. The other half were flushed by the close
approach of a fast moving Suffolk County Police vessel.
on folks, let's give the seals a break.
don't go down to the water's edge.
Stay behind the snow
About 30 harbor seals seen hauled out as we
Unfortunately, a private helicopter flew over the
hauled out seals as we were approaching and
scattered them. This helicopter has done so before,
each time leaving just as we approached close enough
to try and photograph or video the encounter. Over
the past years, helicopters and airplanes have
repeatedly harassed the seals and have been reported
to NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Agents.
Unfortunately, it hasn't stopped.
If you are there and see anything like this
occuring, try to video and/or photograph the
encounter and get the aircraft's ID numbers and
contact NYS DEC POLICE, OR NOAA FISHERIES , OR Dr.
and he will give
you the contact information for
Within a few minutes of
arrival, we saw them chased off the sandbar by the close approach of a vesel. Over the next 45 minutes, vessels repeatedly
cuased the seals to leave the sandbar. Boaters, please leave the seals alone!
Photos and Videos
This season CRESLI is once again offering seal season passes that
will allow the holder unlimited seal walks! We are offering
three levels: Grey, Harp and Harbor Seal
Grey Seal Pinniped Pass ($65) is for a family up to
Harp Seal Pinniped Pass ($50) is for up to 4 people
Harbor Seal Pinniped Pass ($30) is for up to two
Each pass lasts the whole seal season and can be used an
unlimited number of times.
This is an inexpensive and easy way to see Long Island’s
seals all season.
All you need to do is go to our website and register.
Considering that we have OVER 27
scheduled seal walks and ask each person for $5. This is a
note that seal walks for groups of 10-50 (school
groups, scouts, etc.) have to be scheduled
separately and can be scheduled on dates other than
those listed. Please send an e-mail with your
requests, by clicking on this link to
Dr. A. Kopelman
CRESLI seal walks
at Cupsogue Beach County Park (at the
western end of Dune Road in Westhampton Beach) will
depart from area near the fence at
the western end of the parking lot. The
walks are approximately
miles round trip and take about 1.5-2
hours. Meeting times are 15 minutes prior to departure.
These walks are suitable for children.
PLEASE! PLEASE! All of us involved in monitoring the seals
on Long Island would prefer that you view the
seals in a supervised naturalist led walk. If too many people
continue to disturb the haul out zone, the seals may abandon it in the
future. REMEMBER, DO NOT COME WITHIN 70 YARDS OF THE HAUL OUT
ZONE WHEN SEALS ARE HAULED OUT and DO NOT GO DOWN TO THE