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SONOMA COAST STATE PARK: SEAL WATCH VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Seal Watch Docents

Seal Watch Point Person: Greg Armstrong, email or call (707) 228-5429

Equipment Manager: Julie Cross, email or call (707) 889-3155

Volunteer Mentor: Brittany Kelly, email or call (925) 519-3974

Google Calendar: Darcy Reiner

Seal Watch Monthly Coordinators

Contact Monthly Coordinators to schedule or re-schedule a shift.

March: Bob Caricato, email or call (707) 829-8927

April: Bill Ruppert, email or call (707) 869-3835

May:  Brittany Kelly, email or call (925) 519-3974

June: Bill Bambrick, email or call (707) 573-9782 

July: Greg Armstrong, email or call (707) 228-5429

August – Labor Day Weekend: Mary Follis, email or call (707) 869-1715

 

Calendar Instructions for Volunteers:

  • Check the calendar for your scheduled shifts.
  • If you need to cancel a shift please call another volunteer to cover your shift AND let the Monthly Volunteer Coordinator know.
  • The Monthly Coordinator will update the calendar with the changes.
  • Volunteers should re-check the calendar to make sure the changes are accurate.
  • Be sure to call your shift partner the week before your shift to confirm.


Seal Watch Volunteer Calendar

Seal Watch History

In 1985, 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 feet from the harbor seals. This began one of the first Stewards-supported programs, Seal Watch.

Today, volunteers supported by Stewards assist the public in safeguarding this local harbor seal habitat, the largest on the Sonoma Coast. Volunteers are available on weekends during the annual pupping season (March through Labor Day weekend) when the seals are most vulnerable to public interactions.

Potential docents are required to attend one of the three General Orientation Sessions, a Seal Watch logistics orientation, as well as the Marine Mammal Seminar.

Volunteer Hours

Volunteers who participate in the State Park "Volunteers in Parks" program are eligible for an annual day-use pass. Volunteering for 24 hours a year provides a Russian River/Mendocino distict-wide pass. Volunteering for 200 hours or more provides a state-wide day-use pass at most State Parks in CA (with the exception of Hearst Castle, the Railroad Museum and a few others). Volunteer hours must be submitted to Stewards by the end of each calendar year or more frequently in order to receive a pass. 

Report Volunteer Hours by logging into your account and choosing "Record Volunteer Time."

Seal Watch Resources

History of the Jenner Area of Sonoma County

Lost Jetty of California's Russian River

Orientation Sessions & Docent Seminars

For more information, contact Jazzy Dingler via email or phone at (707) 869-9177 x 1#.

Reporting Wildlife Disturbances or Concerns

Email Stewards Staff -  report a problem or concern from your shift. 

Marine Mammal Center - report abandoned or injured marine mammals.

Wildlife Disturbance Form - Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary form for reporting seabird and marine mammal disturbances. Be sure you understand how to use the form before you fill it out. 

 

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Photo: Harbor Seals and Gulls Photo: Sonoma Coast seal watch Photo: Harbor Seal Colony at the Russian River mouth Photo: Harbor Seals and Wave Photo: Harbor Seal and Pup
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Office: 17000 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville, CA 95446
Mail: PO Box 2, Duncans Mills, CA 95430 · (707) 869-9177
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