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This year, the theme of the United Nation’s World Wildlife Day 2016 reinforces the link between wildlife, people and sustainable development. While celebrating wildlife, World Wildlife Day 2016 specifically emphasizes the urgent need to fight wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts. Read on to learn about notable harbor wildlife, and how you can enjoy their beauty while helping preserve their habitats.
Maine – Atlantic Puffin
Once dwindling in numbers due to overhunting, the Maine islands are now home to 4,000 Atlantic Puffins each summer thanks to the Audubon’s Project Puffin. Easily identified by its bold red and black beak and orange legs, the Atlantic Puffin can most likely be spotted at Eastern Egg Rock (midcoast), Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island (downeast).
Boston – Harbor Seals
Harbor seals can be found in waters all along the northeast, but there’s something especially charming about spotting them in Boston Harbor as you're about to catch your mooring or venture back out on to sea. Notoriously curious, Boston boaters know to keep a look out for seals watching from afar. Plan a trip to the Boston Harbor Islands – find information on tours, wildlife, and how you can get involved in preservation efforts at the Boston Harbor Island National & State Park.
Newport – Migratory Birds
Newport has its fair share of wildlife both in nature and at the helm. While in port, take a day trip to the Norman Bird Sanctuary next door in Middletown, RI to see swans, egrets, mallards, and many more species of wildlife in the sanctuary's field, stream and woodlands.
If you’re not already, we recommend that you follow and donate to support one of our favorite environmental nonprofits, Sailors for the Sea. This group of dedicated sailors in Dockwa’s hometown of Newport helps boating events around the world become more eco-friendly.
Annapolis – The Osprey
The Osprey is a perfect tenant of the Chesapeake Bay – adaptable and resourceful, able to efficiently recreate damaged nests and subsist exclusively on fish. The Osprey population continues to be affected by insecticides in the South American countries it migrates to each year, which have less stringent pollution regulations.
Visit the Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage foundation to learn how you can get involved in conservation efforts.
Bahamas – Swimming pigs
Bahamians aren't shy about one of their many claims to fame, the swimming pigs of the bahamas. Among the gorgeous sandy beaches, calm waters and plentiful fishing, pigs and piglets swim among tourists on Big Major Cay. For the nearest access, dock at Davis Harbour Marina on Eleuthera, Northwest of Pig Beach.
The Nature Conservancy has done extensive work throughout the tropics to preserve coral reefs, beaches and bays. Learn more about the Bahamas Nature Conservancy.
Puerto Rico – Bioluminescent Bay
Several of the bays in Puerto Rico are home to a special type of ocean plankton – luminescent dinoflagellates – which produce a blue-green glow in response to disturbance. The delicate balance of the climate allows the plankton to thrive makes this ecosystem. Vieques, Puerto Rico is home to the pristine Bioluminescent Bay, which you can make your way to easily from the dock at Puerto del Rey.
Learn more about the rare wildlife found on Vieques – and how you can help protect it – from the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge.
How do you do your part to protect wildlife?
Let us know on Twitter with the hashtags #WWD2016 and #WorldWildlifeDay. Thank you for boating sustainably!