A beached whale washed ashore at Robert Moses State Park...

A beached whale washed ashore at Robert Moses State Park on Friday. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

New York State Park Police have cordoned off an area of Field 5 at Robert Moses State Park after a dead whale was found washed ashore early Friday, officials said.

The beached whale, believed to be a juvenile humpback measuring 18 to 20 feet, was discovered by state park staff at about 6:45 a.m., said George Gorman, regional director of the state's Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Officials notified the Hampton Bays-based Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, which is sending personnel to conduct a necropsy to determine the cause of death, he said. It was not immediately clear if there is any suspected cause of death.

Once a necropsy has been conducted, Gorman said staff will bury the whale  according to standard procedures.

Earlier this month, the body of a 24-foot-long Minke whale was found washed ashore in Westhampton Beach.

It was the eighth large whale beaching the AMCS had responded to this year as part of the NOAA Fisheries Unusual Mortality Event.

In January, when a 35-foot-long male humpback whale washed ashore and died on Lido Beach, it marked the 10th such beaching at an East Coast Atlantic Ocean beach in a two-month span, officials said — a trend that has had environmentalists concerned that sonic blasting from offshore wind turbines could be playing a role in the deaths. Sean Hayes, chief of the National Marine Fisheries Service protected species unit, wrote a letter to the federal Bureau of Ocean Management's lead biologist in May 2022 to express concern about one planned wind-farm’s potential impact on the endangered right whale, stating that turbine development can pose risks to the species.

However, NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) held a news conference in the wake of the string of 2022-23 whale fatalities to announce there was no viable evidence to tie the turbines to the wake of fatal strandings.

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