Protecting Harbor Seals Along the Sonoma County Coast By Norma Jellison

Photo by Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods

Spring on the Sonoma Coast is replete with new beginnings. The grass is green, the flowers are blooming, and many animals and birds are producing their young of the year. On Route 1 just north of Jenner, there are a couple of pullouts that give a panoramic view of the Russian River where it enters the Pacific Ocean. On the beach below, Goat Rock State Beach, there is a Pacific Harbor Seal haulout. Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods Seal Watch volunteers are on the beach weekends from March to September. They talk to folks about the Harbor Seals, and why it is important to observe the signs to remain at least 50 yards from the seals.

Harbor Seals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. They haul out, reoxygenate their blood, rest and sleep during much of the day. This and a thick blubber layer enables them to take deep dives, 300’ plus, and stay under on average 23 minutes, as they forage mostly at night in the cold ocean waters off our coast.

The complete article can be found HERE.