Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island

CRESLI Seal Walks and Research at Cupsogue

The seals are back and so are we, for our 16th consecutive year at Cupsogue, join us

By: A. H. Kopelman, PhD


CRESLI Seal Walks and Research at Cupsogue

2020 CRESLI Seal Walks at Cupsogue Beach Park began December 7, 2019

Over 22,000 seal encounters since 2006.

Join us to observe, photograph, and learn about our Long Island's seals.  

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) 319-6003 for schedule changes and cancellations.  The walks  are approximately 1.2 miles round trip and take about 1 to 1.5 hours.  These walks are suitable for children.  

Please be prepared for the weather, i.e., wear warm clothing in layers. Hats, gloves, warm waterproof shoes are recommended, as are cameras and binoculars. 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. 


2019-2020 SEAL SIGHTINGS AT CUPSOGUE

Date

Status

Type of trip

Saturday, November 23, 2019
5 Harbor seals swimming
SEAL MONITORING SESSION

Saturday, December 7,  2019

90 harbor seals hauled-out on main sandbar, including some old-timers back for their 16th year

SEAL WALK

Sunday, December 8, 2019

70 seals seen at 8:30 AM were spooked off the haulout by a slow moving vessel within 2 minutes.  By the time we arrived at 10:00 only about 10 were seen swimming

SEAL WALK

Monday, December 17, 2019

96 harbor seals hauled-out on main sandbar,

SEAL MONITORING SESSION

Saturday, December 21, 2019

103 seals were hauled out on the main sandbar during an early monitoring session, but once again had been spooked off the haulout while we were away.  When we arrived at 10:00 only 8 hauled out rocks. PHOTOS UNAVAILABLE

SEAL WALK

Sunday, December 22, 2019

113 harbor seals were hauled out on the main sandbar during our early monitoring session. Unbelievably, yet again, they had been flushed from the haulout by the time we returned 2 hours later.

Surprisingly, we found 30 seals hauled out on a distant sandbar northeast of the usual haulout (secondary haul-out site).  With patience, we were ultimately watch 30 additional harbor seals haul back onto the main haulout site!

SEAL WALK

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

127 harbor seals were hauled out on the main sandbar

SEAL MONITORING SESSION

Sunday, January 05, 2020

102 harbor seals were hauled out on the main sandbar

SEAL WALK

Friday, January 10, 2020

25 harbor seals hauled out on their secondary region of the sandbar, utilized when disturbed from the main area

SEAL MONITORING SESSION

Sunday, January 12, 2020

73 harbor seals (70 on seals were hauled out on the main sandbar and 3 on rocks)

SEAL MONITORING SESSION

Saturday, January 18, 2020

87 harbor seals (78 on seals were hauled out on the main sandbar and 9 on rocks)

 

Sunday, January 19, 2020

64 harbor seals (61 on main sandbar and 3 on rocks)

SEAL WALK

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

137 harbor seals (130 on main sandbar and 7 on rocks)

Prior to a seal walk for the Saxon Middle School of Patchogue, @DrArtieK photographed and took video of 137 harbor seals hauled out (130 on the sandbar and 7 on the rocks) at Cupsogue. With the school group, we stopped at the newer parking area just to get a glimpse of the seals from a distance. We watched in disbelief as an airplane (C-FBKB of Kenn Borek Air Limited) flew over the seals and spooked all into the water. The plane continued to fly over the area repeatedly and we were able to get clear photos to send to the authorities

SEAL WALK FOR SAXTON MIDDLE SCHOOL (PATCHOGUE)

Friday, January 24, 2020

17 harbor seals (12 on rocks and 5 in water)

Prior to this seal monitoring session, @DrArtieK noticed a guy in a wet-suit eastward down the road to the parking with his dog (light colored lab). Dr. K. had a bad feeling that the seals were gone. The man got in his car and drove down to the area where we take people to view seals, he loaded his paddleboard and drove past. Of course the seals were not on the sandbar and about 12 were on the rocks with about another 5 swimming. Dr. K. didn’t see him spook the seals, but knew he had done so (he's done it repeatedly).

Harassment is defined by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) essentially as any action that causes a marine mammal to significantly alter its behavior. Folks, if you ever see someone purposefully or regularly causing harassment, please try to capture it on video and contact me (ahkopelman@cresli.org). I will share with you the contact information for NOAA Fisheries and NYSDEC Police enforcement agents.

We are so lucky to live in a place where we have 19 species of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) and 5 species of seals (pinnipeds).

Let's share the waters with them in peace.

SEAL MONITORING SESSION

Sunday, January 26, 2020

105 harbor seals on main sandbar
SEAL MONITORING SESSION

Sunday, February 02, 2020

157 harbor seals on main sandbar
SEAL MONITORING SESSION

Saturday, February 08, 2020

31 harbor seals hauled out during a monitoring session prior to the scheduled seal walk.  These seals were exceedingly nervous and most appeared to have recently left the water. The behavior was most-likely the results of prior harassment. 20 harbor seals were hauled-out when we arrived later for the seal walk

SEAL WALK
Sunday, February 09, 2020

60-80 harbor seals hauled out during a monitoring session prior to the scheduled seal walk.  Just before we were ready to document the haulout with photos, a single-engine propeller plane flew south of the haulout area just over the ocean.  The moment these seals heard this plane in the distance, all of them jumped into the water. Once again, this behavior was most-likely the results of prior harassment by the same aircraft.  16 harbor seals retuned to the sandbar 25 minutes later. 1.5 hours later, 6 harbor seals were eventually found swimming near the near-shore rocky haulout area during our seal walk after 25 minutes after we arrived.

SEAL WALK
Monday, February 10, 2020
78 harbor seals on main sandbar
SEAL MONITORING SESSION
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
133 harbor seals on main sandbar
SEAL MONITORING SESSION
Sunday, February 16, 2020
142 harbor seals on main sandbar
SEAL WALK
Monday, February 17, 2020
177 seals (176 harbor seals and 1 juvenile gray seal) hauled out during a monitoring session prior to a scheduled seal walk for Stony Brook University MAR395.  Once again, a single-engine propeller plane flew south of the haulout area just over the ocean.  The moment these seals heard this plane AGAIN in the distance, all of them jumped into the water.  
 
This time we were able to capture the plane's # and though social media were able to find out whom to contact regarding the plane owners and the flying school who's training flights have been causing the seals to flush. We hope that theyv are able to effect changes in where or when they fly.
 
SEAL WALK for Marine Mammals Research Techniques course at Stony Brook Southampton
Saturday, February 22, 2020
TRIP IS AT CAPACITY AND RESERVATIONS ARE NO LONGER BEING TAKEN. PLEASE SELECT A DIFFERENT DATE
 11:30 AM
Sunday, February 23, 2020
 11:30 AM
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Remaining seal walk dates are below (click on the date to register)

You must register for any CRESLI seal walks (see links below). Registration will enable us to contact you regarding changes and/or cancellations.

Suggested donations (but are not required) of $5.00 per adult (over 18)  and $3 per child (18 and under) will help support CRESLI's ongoing seal research programs

Seal Walk Registration is required, go to https://forms.gle/28ArTe9YQ6DSWSsU8


Massive seal haulout at Cupsogue, February 2, 2020. 157 seals from CRESLI_ Inc. on Vimeo.


Harbor seal sightings data



 

Pinniped Passes: Season passes for unlimited seal walks are available


 

 

Best Photos from the 2018-2019 Seal Season


 

 


2018-2019 SEAL SIGHTINGS AT CUPSOGUE

Date Time Status
Saturday, November 24, 2018 11:30 AM SEAL WALK  2 harbor seals were seen during research monitoring but were unfortunately not seen during the seal walk
Sunday, December 2, 2018 8:00 AM SEAL WALK  Canceled due to weather
Monday December 3, 2018 RESEARCH TRIP

77 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Saturday, December 8, 2018 11:30 AM SEAL WALK 

93 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Sunday, December 16, 2018 7:00 AM SEAL WALK  Canceled due to weather
Monday December 17, 2018 RESEARCH TRIP

53 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Saturday, December 22, 2018 10:30 AM SEAL WALK 

34 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Sunday, December 23, 2018 11:30 AM SEAL WALK 

24 harbor seals seen during monitoring. Just before arrival for our walk, the seals were chased off the sandbar by a vessel approaching too closely. Please keep your distance from seals

PHOTOS

Thursday, December 27, 2018 RESEARCH TRIP

53 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Sunday, December 30, 2018 7:00 AM SEAL WALK 

120 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Thursday, January 03, 2019 RESEARCH TRIP

110 Harbor seals

PHOTOS

Saturday, January 5, 2019 11:00 AM SEAL WALK  canceled due to weather
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 RESEARCH TRIP

132 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Thursday, January 17, 2019

SEAL WALK FOR

SOUTH OCEAN MIDDLE SCHOOL

132 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Friday, January 18, 2019

SEAL MONITORING WITH

WALDORF SCHOOL OF GARDEN CITY

117 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Saturday, January 19, 2019 10:00 AM SEAL WALK 

123 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Sunday, January 20, 2019 10:30 AM SEAL WALK  Canceled due to weather
Saturday, February 2, 2019 10:00 AM SEAL WALK

105 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Sunday, February 3, 2019

10:30 AM SEAL WALK 

52 seals hauled out early on the sand bar; they were flushed later and about 20 ultimately hauled-out on the near shore rocks

Saturday, February 16, 2019 9:00 AM SEAL WALK 

122 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Sunday, February 17, 2019 10:00 AM SEAL WALK 

118 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Friday, February 22, 2019 RESEARCH TRIP

 92 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Saturday, March 2, 2019 9:00 AM SEAL WALK 

20 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Sunday, March 3, 2019 9:00 AM SEAL WALK 

92 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Saturday, March 16, 2019 9:00 AM SEAL WALK 

91 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Sunday, March 17, 2019 9:00 AM SEAL WALK 

101 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 RESEARCH TRIP 

104 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Friday, March 29, 2019

SEAL WALK FOR

LITTLE PEEPERS FOREST SCHOOL

157 harbor seals

PHOTOS
Saturday, March 30, 2019 9:00 AM SEAL WALK 

136 HARBOR SEALS DURING POST-SUNRISE MONITORING SESSION. ALL SEALS ON THE SANDBAR HAD BEEN FLUSHED BEFORE OUR SCHEDULED WALK.

~40 WERE SWIMMING AND ANOTHER 20 WERE HAULED OUT ON THE ROCKS NEAR SHORE.

THE SEALS ON THE ROCKS WERE FLUSHED BY AN ILLEGAL CLOSE APPROACH BY COAST GUARD AUXILIARY VESSELS. THE INCIDENT HAD BEEN TAPED AND A REPORT TO THE AUTHORITIES WILL BE SENT

PHOTOS

Sunday, March 31, 2019 9:00 AM SEAL WALK 

51 HARBOR SEALS: (28 ON NEAR-SHORE ROCKS & 23 ON SANDBAR)

PHOTOS 
Saturday, April 05, 2019

SEAL MONITORING

THE WALDORF SCHOOL OF GARDEN CITY

20 Swimming harbor seals

PHOTOS 

Saturday, April 13, 2019 8:00 AM SEAL WALK  22  harbor seals

PHOTOS 

Saturday, April 14, 2019 8:00 AM SEAL WALK 

128 harbor seals - dense fog

PHOTOS 

Sunday, April 16, 2019

SEAL MONITORING

THE WALDORF SCHOOL OF GARDEN CITY

109 harbor seals

PHOTOS 

Saturday, April 27, 2019 8:00 AM SEAL WALK 

17 harbor seals

PHOTOS

Sunday,  April 28, 2019 8:00 AM SEAL WALK 

14 HARBOR SEALS HAULED OUT AT THE FAR NORTHEASTERN OF THE SANDBAR. THIS HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN IN 14 YEARS OF MONITORING

PHOTOS