Braving The Cold Weather For Season's Best Seal Watching In Rhode Island

Feb 9, 2015

Seals from Maine and the Atlantic Provinces of Canada start migrating to Narragansett Bay in October. But February is one of the best months for seal watching in Narragansett Bay. That’s when the number of migrating seals peaks, ranging between 300-500. 

Seals in the Narragansett Bay. Their population have shot back after years in decline.
Credit Courtesy Save The Bay

The migrating seal population in Narragansett Bay reaches its peak between February and March.  Environmental advocacy group Save the Bay’s restoration ecologist Rob Hudson said the Marine Mammal Protection Act has helped these seals slowly rebound from the hunting that took place prior to the 1970's.  "We actually went from seeing maybe one or two seals a season here in Narragansett Bay, and right now we have a standing population of around 300 to 500 seals inside of Narragansett Bay," said Hudson.

This past weekend, the group Save the Bay took out about 20 people on a boat to see seals resting on rocks in the bay. Eleven-year-old Catie Corbeill was visiting from Pennsylvania, and braved snow flurries and freezing temperatures. “It’s really cold but I don’t mind, because I really want to see the seals,” said Corbeill.

In addition to seal-watching boat tours, Save the Bay’s Exploration Center and Aquarium in Newport will focus on seal-related hands-on activities this month to help people learn more about seals. 

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic?  Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org