Public Education Programs:
Stewards' Seal Watch Public Education Program began in 1985, when Dian Hardy and other local activists from Jenner discovered that the harbor seals at Goat Rock State Beach were in greater danger from beach visitors and unleashed dogs than from the pollution of a recent sewage spill into the Russian River. In response to these concerns, they organized and set up four-hour shifts on the beach at the river mouth where they asked visitors to abide by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and stay at least 50 yards from the harbor seals.
Today, State Parks Volunteer Docents assist the public in safeguarding this local harbor seal habitat, the largest on the Sonoma Coast. Docents are available at Goat Rock State Beach on weekends during the annual pupping season (March through Labor Day weekend) when the seals are most vulnerable to public interactions.
Groups can book private naturalist or docent-led Seal Watch tours (reservations at least 2 weeks in advance are recommended). To do so, simply register online by filling out our Online Reservation Form for Groups. Fees vary and they help us continue to provide free docent-led environmental education programs for school groups through our School Group Education Programs. Click here to book School Group Reservations online.
If you would like more information or to register for orientations, please contact: Margaret Pearson Pinkham, Volunteer Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (707) 869-9177 ext. 1#.
Seal Watching EcoAdventures are available for a fee. Click the related link below for more information.
Seal Watch Related Links:Sonoma Coast SP
Sonoma Coast SP Brochure
Become a Seal Watch Docent
Attend a Seminar about Harbor Seals
Biological Opinion and the Harbor Seal Haulout - News
Impacts of the Russian River Sandbar on Wildlife - PDF
Pinniped Monitoring Program
Seal Watching EcoAdventure
Seal Watch External Links:Sealwatch.org
The Marine Mammal Center
Sonoma County Water Agency - Russian River Instream Flow and Restoration