On November 27, a Save The Bay education vessel will depart from Bowen’s Ferry Landing in Newport Harbor, marking the organization’s 22nd seal tour season in the “City by the Sea.”
Between November and April, the environmental nonprofit organization will run one-hour seal tours complete with expert narration by Save The Bay staff. These one-of-a-kind excursions offer passengers of all ages the opportunity to experience the beauty of Newport, catch spectacular views of the Claiborne Pell Bridge, learn the history of the harbor, and spot Rhode Island’s state marine mammal, the harbor seal, in its natural environment.
“Harbor seals are the most common marine mammal in New England,” said Save The Bay Captain Eric Pfirrmann. “While their population was once in steady decline due to human activities, the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 helped reverse the trend. Following the guidelines of the MMPA, we make sure that our tours stay at a safe distance so that we don’t disrupt these amazing animals, but we do provide guests with binoculars so they can see the seals in perfect detail.”
“While we see a variety of seal species in Narragansett Bay, we can identify a harbor seal by its size and its ‘puppy-dog’ face. We usually spot them resting ‘hauled out’ on rocks or in a ‘bottling’ position, where they float upright like a glass bottle.”
For over two decades, Save The Bay has offered Seal Tours during the region’s cooler months when harbor seals migrate into local waters following their food supply. Save The Bay’s education vessels allow guests to observe winter seals and other wildlife in their natural habitat, all while benefiting the nonprofit’s mission to protect and improve Narragansett Bay.
Save The Bay’s Newport Seal Tours run most weekends and during school holidays and vacations. Ticket prices are: $22 per adult; $17 for Save The Bay members, seniors, and children ages 3-12; and children under 3 years of age are free. Tour schedules, tickets, gift certificates and more information are available by calling 401-203-SEAL(7325) or by visiting savebay.org/seals.