Harbor Seals Sun Themselves In Alameda Despite Ferry Construction Project

ALAMEDA (KPIX 5) — Harbor seals are still sunning themselves in Alameda despite a nearby construction project.

The construction of a new ferry facility in Alameda has meant moving the marine mammals, but not everyone approves.

Harbor Seal Monitor Mark Klein said, “We saw 49. That’s a record. We’ve never seen that many before. We were dumbfounded. The highest was 38 last year.”

Klein keeps count of the seals.

Over the summer, he and other volunteers were concerned they wouldn’t return.

The harbor seals had been lounging on an old dock for years, until the Water Emergency Transportation Authority removed it in July to make room for a new ferry maintenance facility.

But neighbors lobbied and the ferry agency built a platform made of concrete and Styrofoam.

Klein said he wasn’t sure they would adopt it since it had to be moved 900 feet from the construction zone.

But it worked and the harbor seals returned.

Klein said, “We see them fish all the time. Food, protection, safety, that’s what they need.”

But some neighbors want the ferry agency to build at least one more platform.

Neighbor Ann Lauber said, “It’s too small. I think it’ll be really too small in spring when they have the baby seals.”

She hopes the success of the platform will encourage the city to pay for a second one.

For now, the seals look happy as they sun themselves on their new platform.

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