The coastal towns of Massachusetts are an artist’s dream: historic fishing villages, picturesque lighthouses, sandy beaches, rocky coastlines, and harbors brimming with boats of all shapes and sizes make for postcard-perfect scenes, accompanied by the vibrant culture and deep history of the region.
Unfortunately, climate change is threatening our coastal communities. Rising ocean temperatures cause water to expand, and with global glaciers and land ice melting (adding more water to our ocean), we’re experiencing a phenomenon called sea level rise.
These five photos of coastal scenes from our annual Picture This: Your Great Outdoors photo contest show just what’s at stake. Take one of our climate pledges to commit to reducing your greenhouse gas emissions and help share what makes the nature of Massachusetts so important by entering your photos in the 2020 contest today!
Seals are a “fan favorite” for wildlife lovers and coastal tourists due in large part to their often playful, expressive nature and adorable fuzziness. Year-round, visitors to the coastal parts of Massachusetts can spot our “resident” Harbor and Gray seals fairly easily. If you’re really lucky you may spy a rarer species such as Harp or Hooded seals although they tend to stay farther north near the pack ice they depend on for pupping. Interestingly, you will not find any sea lions here. Sea lions belong to a different taxonomic family than “true” seals and are not found on the east coast of the United States.
If you’re eager to spot one, many of our coastal wildlife sanctuaries host programs where you can look for and observe seals but here are five cute photos of seals for you to enjoy in the meantime, submitted to our annual Picture This: Your Great Outdoors photo contest. The 2018 photo contest is only open until September 30, so submit your great wildlife and nature photography today!