‘The Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island (CRESLI) has been working for 2 decades taking people to learn about, observe, and photograph the marine mammals and sea turtles in the waters of Long Island, NY and New England. With the help of hundreds of trained volunteers, students, and colleagues, we’ve collected and analyzed data that highlight the incredible diversity of marine mammals and sea turtles found in our waters. Our data and photos show that individual fin whales and humpback whales return to Long Island’s waters regularly and move between NY, the Gulf of Maine, and the Mid-Atlantic. Our data also show long-term site fidelity of harbor seals at haul-outs we’ve been monitoring for more than 10 years.
Sharing information during our trips is a vital way to engage the public as concerned stakeholders and stewards and is critical part of our mission to “… promote and foster understanding and stewardship of coastal ecosystems…”
Sharing information with researchers and others is also a critically important part of understanding the coastal and offshore ecosystem upon which we depend. Being involved directly in the regional ocean planning process, as one of the NY representatives for whale watching was a truly rewarding and educational experience.
Regional ocean planning is an integral part of large scale ecosystem-based management efforts. Today, with so many issues affecting and being affected by the world’s oceans, data-based planning is an essential to assuring the sustainability of our oceans.’