Join CRESLI led walks to observe, count and photograph seals at haul out areas and learn about seal species diversity, ecology, evolution, and status.
The Coastal Research & Education Society of Long Island's (CRESLI) Seal Research Program monitors seal populations and conducts long term behavioral studies of seals around Long Island. This includes regular observations at the haul out site at Cupsogue Beach County Park (Westhampton Beach, NY). Population counts over the last 18 years have indicated a dramatic increase in the number of seals utilizing Long Island's waters, as well as a shift in the species composition of the region. Historically, Long Island's seal species typically included Harbor and Grey seals, which are relatively abundant in our waters from late fall until late spring. In recent years, "arctic" species such as Harp, Hooded and Ringed seals that were once extremely rare for Long Island, have also become more commonly sighted.
Site monitoring is conducted at one or more specific haul out sites. Detailed observations are collected as part of a long term behavioral study to better understand feeding and social organization of seals. CRESLI's Seal Research Program also now includes photo-identification of harbor and grey seals using high resolution digital SLR cameras connected to powerful telephoto lenses. These are new areas of study for seals on Long Island. Contributions to CRESLI from seal walks and other activities have enabled us to purchase the necessary equipment to conduct this new research. Thank you.
Reservations are required and must be made here.
Cost = Suggested donation of $5 per adult and $3 per child under 18
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 1.3 miles round trip and take about 2 hours. Meeting times are 15 minutes prior to departure. These walks are suitable for children.
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.