• Atlantic Ocean beach at Cape Cod National Seashore

    Cape Cod

    National Seashore Massachusetts

Cape Cod National Seashore Seeks Volunteers for Seal Education Team

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Date: May 26, 2011
Contact: Sue Moynihan, Chief, Interpretation and Cultural Resources Management, 508-957-0738

Cape Cod National Seashore is starting up its volunteer Seal Education Team for the summer season, and seeks new volunteers. For the past several summers, a herd of gray seals has been regularly hauling out on a sandbar in Truro during the summer months. This has provided an outstanding opportunity for people to view and learn about these large mammals, but in years when the sandbar is attached to shore, has created issues related to visitor safety and seal protection. Seals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Last year Cape Cod National Seashore established a corps of volunteers, the Seal Education Team, to be present at the haul-out site at low tide to talk to talk to visitors and to ensure that they remain an appropriate distance from the seals. Last year's volunteers provided information to over 6,000 visitors during the summer months, offering invaluable assistance to the national seashore.

The National Park Service is seeking additional volunteers for this year's program. Volunteers sign up for several four-hour shifts between mid-June and early September. Due to the changing tides, shifts rotate. Volunteers must be able to walk up to ½ mile in soft sand, stand in the sun for up to four hours, and have an interest in marine mammals, public relations, and education. Training and a uniform shirt and ball cap are provided.

This year's training is slated for June 14. There will be a classroom session from 12:30 to 3:00 PM in Wellfleet. This session will cover seal biology and natural history, volunteer duties, communications, and informal interpretive methods. Volunteers will then travel to the haul-out site at low tide to see and discuss the seals. The training will conclude at 5:30 PM.

For more information or to sign up to volunteer, contact Sue Moynihan, Chief, Interpretation and Cultural Resources Management at (508) 957-0738.

 

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