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Seal viewing at Westhampton park

Harbor seals at Cupsogue Beach County Park in

Harbor seals at Cupsogue Beach County Park in Westhampton. (Feb. 2, 2008) Credit: Newsday File / Arthur Kopelman

In March, visitors to Cupsogue Beach County Park in Westhampton will be able to sign up for seal-watching walks to catch a glimpse of the rotund mammals.

The Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island will hold five walks on weekends next month, each lasting about two hours and covering a mile. The walks depart from the western end of the parking lot on Dune Road, and are suitable for children.

Depending on the weather, the walks will be held at 9:30 a.m. on March 3 and 4, at 9 a.m. on March 17, at 10 a.m. on March 18, and at 1:30 p.m. on March 24.

Five species of seal can be found on Long Island’s shores, but only the harbor seal is common on Long Island, according to CRESLI.

Walk participants might also be able to see gray seals as well as “arctic” types — such as harp, hooded and ringed seals — that once were rarely seen off the coast of Long Island, according to a news release from Suffolk Legis. Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk), a former science teacher.

Reservations are required at www.cresli.org/cresli/reservations/seal_walk_reservations.html. For more information or to reserve a spot, call CRESLI at 631-244-3352. There is a suggested donation of $5 per adult and $3 per child younger than 12.

Above: Harbor seals at Cupsogue Beach County Park in Westhampton. (Feb. 2, 2008)

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