Marine Mammals & Sea Turtles

The Town of Hempstead beaches and bays offer marine mammals such as seals, dolphins, and whales as well as sea turtles prime habitat and abundant resources year round. Seals regularly haul up on shore and on marsh islands from late fall to late spring, while sea turtles spend summer months in the area favoring warm waters in the bay and Long Island Sound.

The Department of Conservation and Waterways works with local nonprofits Atlantic Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) and the New York Marine Rescue Center (NYMRC) when notified of injured, distressed and deceased marine mammals and sea turtles on the Hempstead bays and beaches. Staff will respond to entangled, injured and deceased animals and assist as directed by the cooperating groups. The Department does not rehabilitate or capture and treat animals as we do not possess the required permits, but provides detailed information, facilities and resources as needed.

For any deceased or entangled animals, AMCS is contacted and will perform on-the-scene necropsies, and plan rescues for entangled animals. New York Marine Rescue Center will respond to cold-stunned turtles and injured or distressed marine mammals. These groups are able to treat and rehabilitate animals with the goal of releasing them back into the wild. If you encounter an animal you believe to be injured or in distress, please call the New York Stranding Hotline at 631-369-9829 to report the animal. Residents can also call the Department at 516-431-9200 for a staff member to assist immediately.