(Photo courtesy Robin Lindsey)
It’s that time of year again: The local volunteer group Seal Sitters is ready to train new volunteers to help keep watch when seal pups come out of the water and start turning up on local shores. The Seal Sitters’ first volunteer training session is one week from tonight at Alki UCC – read on for the full official announcement:
This is the time of year when baby seal “pups” begin to appear on West Seattle beaches. 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. Pups are extremely vulnerable at this time and need protection to help them survive. Sadly, only 50% of harbor seals make it through their first year.
The West Seattle “Seal Sitters” are a group of responsible, dedicated volunteers who come together to guard the seal pups and educate onlookers on their lives and behavior. They are seeking volunteers to be first responders when seal pups come ashore. Seal Sitter and freelance photographer Robin Lindsey says that seal sitting is incredibly rewarding. “It’s thrilling to watch wide-eyed seal pups grow and develop, and you meet incredible people!”
Seal Sitters offers training to provide potential volunteers with basic information on seal behavior, seal biology, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Training also provides guidance on interacting with and educating the public.
The Seal Sitters will be holding a volunteer training session on Tuesday, July 14 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm at the Alki United Church of Christ (UCC) in the parlor located left of the front entrance. Alki UCC is located at 6115 SW Hinds Street, roughly three blocks south of the Alki Bakery. Anyone with an interest in marine mammals is encouraged to attend. Those who complete a training session are eligible to become Seal Sitters.
The Seal Sitters web site www.sealsitters.org features photos of seal pups, and provides additional information on seals, Seal Sitters, and upcoming Seal Sitter training.