Streams

Harbor Seals in New York City

Friday, March 23, 2012

Two harbor seals swimming off Swinburne and Hoffman Islands near Staten Island. (Alana Casanova-Burgess/WNYC)

Paul Sieswerda, retired curator at the New York Aquarium and the Boston Aquarium, explains why harbor seals and other marine animals are returning to the area. He leads trips to see and count the harbor seals every weekend at this time of year.

Guests:

Paul Sieswerda

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Comments [12]

greta from long island

Loved the cruise. Paul was great. When u see such beauty how can u question God.

Jul. 18 2013 11:22 AM
Jarad Astin from ROCKAWAY BEACH, SON!

Good morning, what a great segment. I am the Live Animal Curator of the Brooklyn Children's Museum, and avid waterman living in Rockaway Beach. I keep a sailboat in Jamaica Bay, surf the local beaches, engage in conservation work on the bay, and field collection of marine invertebrates and fishes for our collection at the museum. It's funny how many of the city's residents take for granted that the waters surrounding us are so polluted to be not worth a thought...but to even further the topic of a general bounceback of the health of our local waters, I will direct you to the A train. As the A train cruises over the bay, one can see several threatened or endangered shorebirds every day of the year right from your seat if you know what to look for. And even though there is much work to do in preserving this gem of the city, it's important to grab a silver lining to motivate the public on this issue. So NY, I challenge you to consider your neighbors the seals, dolphins, whales, and birds before dropping that trash on the sidewalk...it will end up in their yard. And I challenge public media to make this a regular topic and keep it in the public eye. If we're all excited about what's positive in our local ecosystem, we'll be much less likely to let anything happen to it.
Oh, and to the caller concerned about sharks...when playing on someone else's yard, you just might run intro the yard-dog. Goes with the territory, but you're still more likely to be struck by lightning. Get out and get your paddle on!

Mar. 23 2012 12:31 PM
Jarad Astin from ROCKAWAY BEACH, SON!

Good morning, what a great segment. I am the Live Animal Curator of the Brooklyn Children's Museum, and avid waterman living in Rockaway Beach. I keep a sailboat in Jamaica Bay, surf the local beaches, engage in conservation work on the bay, and field collection of marine invertebrates and fishes for our collection at the museum. It's funny how many of the city's residents take for granted that the waters surrounding us are so polluted to be not worth a thought...but to even further the topic of a general bounceback of the health of our local waters, I will direct you to the A train. As the A train cruises over the bay, one can see several threatened or endangered shorebirds every day of the year right from your seat if you know what to look for. And even though there is much work to do in preserving this gem of the city, it's important to grab a silver lining to motivate the public on this issue. So NY, I challenge you to consider your neighbors the seals, dolphins, whales, and birds before dropping that trash on the sidewalk...it will end up in their yard. And I challenge public media to make this a regular topic and keep it in the public eye. If we're all excited about what's positive in our local ecosystem, we'll be much less likely to let anything happen to it.
Oh, and to the caller concerned about sharks...when playing on someone else's yard, you just might run intro the yard-dog. Goes with the territory, but you're still more likely to be struck by lightning. Get out and get your paddle on!

Mar. 23 2012 12:30 PM
janet from brooklyn

Brian,

check out a New Yorker article of some
months ago - about seals found in the city,
brooklyn - one with a Brooklyn accent...

Mar. 23 2012 12:05 PM
ericka

such an uplifting program; can't wait to see them.

Mar. 23 2012 11:58 AM

Does this mean no more sea urchin?

Mar. 23 2012 11:56 AM
John Weber from NJ

Anyone concerned with seals should know that every plastic bag that gets out into the environment could potentially kill a seal,(or a whale, or a turtle). See this video http://vimeo.com/37819529

And the Queens County Library offers a free plastic bag to every patron checking out a book. With a circulation of 23 million the taxpayers of NYC are paying for a lot of plastic bag pollution and litter.

Help us stop the madness. http://nyc.surfrider.org/

Mar. 23 2012 11:56 AM
robin from NJ

We have been water skiing in the Raritan River and the South River for 20 years. 15 years ago we spotted some fancy boat coing way into the river. They were from a federal agency and said they were following a harbour seal. We were stunned. A couple minutes later, one swam right by us

Mar. 23 2012 11:55 AM
JK from Manhattan

George, the oysters are coming back but sadly, I believe the levels of PCBs and metals in the harbor/Hudson still make them unsafe for human consumption.

Mar. 23 2012 11:55 AM
DMarie

Why bother indulging people in their irrational fear of sharks? They should be more afraid of driving!

Mar. 23 2012 11:54 AM
Meg from STAMFORD

The State of CT stocked local rivers (with trout) a month earlier than usual due to warm weather.

Mar. 23 2012 11:51 AM
George from Brooklyn

How is the oyster population in the waters of New York. Oysters used to be plentiful in the area until human overconsumption and sewage wiped out much of the indigenous population.

Mar. 23 2012 02:08 AM

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