Save the Bay tours return

Save the Bay tours return

The Westerly Sun

WESTERLY — Save the Bay nature tours have returned for another season.

The 90-minute boat tours, which resumed on Saturday, take participants down the Pawcatuck River into Little Narragansett Bay, and provide opportunities to view harbor seals, birds, and fall foliage.

The tours depart every Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. and every day during the December school vacation. They will continue until Dec. 31, or when the river freezes over.

Save the Bay spokeswoman Cindy Sabato said harbor seals used to be uncommon in the Westerly area, but now the burgeoning seal population has resulted in frequent sightings.

“I’m not sure exactly what year we added Westerly tours, but it wasn’t that long ago, and it was because we began to see the seals coming into Little Narragansett Bay, and even up into the Pawcatuck River,” she said.

Harbor seals come into Little Narragansett Bay during the winter in search of fish.

“What we see them doing on our tours is, we see them resting on rocks, especially during low tide,” Sabato said, adding that the tours also offered good bird-watching opportunities.

“We’ve had reports of some great bird sightings on some of these tours, some of our winter birds, some winter waterfowl. While we’re not out there specifically looking for birds, especially along the shoreline where you’re not out in the middle of a giant harbor, in the Westerly area in particular, you have a greater chance of seeing some nice winter species.”

There will be three special tours on Oct. 18 and 24 and Nov. 15, featuring Allison Tuttle, vice president of biological programs at the Mystic Aquarium. The aquarium serves as the region’s seal rescue and rehabilitation facility, and Tuttle will share her perspectives on the animals.

Space is limited, so seats must be reserved in advance. Tickets for the Westerly nature cruises are $17 for Save the Bay members, children aged 3 to 12 and seniors, and $22 for nonmembers.

Tours depart from the Viking Marina, 19 Margin Street, Westerly. Tickets can be purchased on the Save the Bay website:



Latest Videos