Every March, the seal population in Narragansett Bay is counted as an indicator of the overall health of the bay. Narragansett Bay had no harbor seals thirty years ago, as local seals were hunted for interfering with the bay’s fish stock. However, since the passing of the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1972, their numbers have slowly risen. Over two decades, seals have been counted in specific spots of the bay. Since 2009, a statewide tally has been conducted by Save the Bay. Seals can be found in almost all coastal Rhode Island communities. The growing population of seals indicates that there are sufficient fish, which gives a snapshot of the health of the bay. The seal count for this year was on March 20, with 125 seals counted in Newport, Portsmouth, and Bristol. Finding the seals can be difficult as they blend in with rocks. The statewide seal count is expected to be released soon by Save the Bay. Save the Bay is always looking for volunteers to do coastal cleanups and count seals, and the group also runs seal watch tours through April vacation.

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