The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation is releasing their first seal of spring 2016 this Sunday, April 3.
The male harbor seal, named Apollo, was rescued on December 23 last year in Montauk after he was discovered underweight and experiencing respiratory congestion. Since then, the Riverhead Foundation has been nursing him back to health—Apollo was fully rehabilitated only recently and he’s now ready to return home to the wild.
The seal’s release will take place at noon on Ponquogue Beach on Sunday, and the public is welcome to attend.
Apollo is currently one of 14 seals in rehabilitation. Sea animals found sick, injured, harassed or entangled in marine debris maybe be admitted to the Riverhead Foundation’s hospital facility. They’re the only organization in New York State that works with sea turtles and marine mammals such as seals, dolphins, porpoises and whales. Last year the foundation helped 77 seals, 72 sea turtles and 24 cetaceans (dolphins, whales and porpoises).
These animals are all federally protected. By law, people must maintain a minimum distance of 150 feet at all times, because interfering with these animals may cause more unnecessary stress, and can be harmful to an already compromised animal. To report any stranded sea animals, call the Riverhead Foundation’s 24-hour hotline at 631-369-9840.
Also on the horizon for the Riverhead Foundation: Pick It Up! on Saturday, April 2; ongoing Seal Cruises; Pub Party for Preservation on Wednesday, May 11; and Oceans of Hope on Friday, September 30.
Pick It Up! is a program whose mission is to eradicate marine debris on Long Island by hosting several dates for cleaning up beaches across the Island. For more info, call 631-369-9840.
Seal Cruises leave Freeport and Southampton, cruising around Riverhead Foundation haul sites where passengers can witness seals in their natural environment and take in the sights of the marine environment. For more info, visit riverhead-foundation.mybigcommerce.com/seal-cruises/
The Pub Party for Preservation is celebrating May as National Preservation Month with a fundraiser in NYC at the House of Brews from 6– 9 p.m. Bracelets for entry are $20 per person, and proceeds will support Riverhead Foundation programs. Click here for more info
Oceans of Hope is a Dinner Gala celebrating the Riverhead Foundations 20th anniversary. Check the Foundation’s website for information to be released soon. riverheadfoundation.org