Monday, November 6, 2017

Harbor Seals in City by the Sea

By Ryan Ledoux, communications intern

Newport, Rhode Island has always been one of my favorite places to visit. From its unique architecture, beautiful beaches to countless seafood restaurants, it’s the type of place you find yourself going back to time and time again. It’s no surprise that countless people visit this city from all over the world to enjoy it just as I have. But aside from the groups of tourists that make a stop in the City by the Sea, another mammal makes itself comfortable here in these waters every winter.

The harbor seal.

Hearing that hundreds of these animals are swimming right here in Narragansett Bay came somewhat as a surprise to me. I mean, I’ve always known the abundance of marine life that makes this area its home for much of the year, but I’ve been living here for most of my life and never laid my eyes on these animals before. I would have thought they’d be found in deeper waters, somewhere far away from the likes of humans. Instead, I was told they were hanging out right underneath Pell Bridge, and not just a few of them, but a whole group of them.

At this point, my curiosity grew and I wanted to see them for myself. Luckily for me, Save The Bay offers seal cruises right off of Bowen’s Landing. They provide an up-close look at these marine mammals in their natural habitat. Awesome tour guides explain the migratory patterns of these animals and how they have made a tremendous comeback in the last 40-plus years, thanks to conservation efforts.

You can see many of the seals swimming for fish and others just lounging out on a large rock formation seemingly taking a quick rest before they dive back in. If you want an up-close look, Save The Bay provides attendees with some West Marine binoculars to zoom in on the seals and the surrounding landscape. Watching these mammals swimming comfortably in these waters was a sight to behold. Some of the seals were even curious enough to come check us out on the boat as we skimmed past.

This tour was definitely one of the more unique experiences I’ve had in Newport and one that made me feel good about the efforts being made to protect these waters and ensure a healthy environment for us all to share.

You can register for a seal watch and nature cruise at

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