Late summer/early fall is prime time for baby seals on the beaches – that Alki clip above is from WSB’s very early video days last September — and when they show up, the volunteers known as the Seal Sitters spring into action. (And often … here’s proof.) Many people asked us at the time how they could help as official Seal Sitters volunteers, in addition to knowing what to do when you see a seal on the beach (answer, as reinforced on the Seal Sitters’ site: basically, nothing – its mom will likely be back after hunting, and if you get too close, that could jeopardize the reunion). Today, we have word the Seal Sitters are about to have two volunteer-training events, and they hope to see you there:
The West Seattle “Seal Sitters” are regrouping in anticipation of what could soon be dozens of baby seal “pups” gracing our shores. The pups “haul out” to get much-needed rest and warmth by sleeping peacefully on the beaches and rocks, often for long hours before mom returns for them. These pups are extremely vulnerable at this time and need our protection to help them survive; only 50% of harbor seals survive their first year.
Robin Lindsay, a freelance photographer, has been documenting the babies for the past few years. She urges as many West Seattle residents who can to join Seal Sitters, a group of dedicated volunteers who come together to guard the seal pups and educate onlookers on their lives and behavior. “It’s thrilling to watch wide-eyed seal pups grow and develop, and you meet incredible people!”
Seal Sitters will be holding a volunteer training session on Sunday, August 10th from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at Hiawatha Community Center (2700 California Ave SW). A second training will be held at Alki Community Center (5817 SW Stevens) on Tuesday, September 9th from 7:00 â€“ 9:00 pm. Anyone with an interest in marine mammals is encouraged to attend. Those who complete a training session are eligible to join the Seal Sitters Intern Program.
Seal Sitters have created a website – www.sealsitters.org – that features photos of seal pups, and provides additional information on seals and Seal Sitters. Please check this site for any time and location updates prior to attending.