Birds & Marine Mammal


Marine mammals and many species of migratory birds may be spotted in Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound. In the Bay, seasonal visitors include gray seals, harp seals and harbor seals. A variety of dolphins and harbor porpoises may also be spotted.

Gray Seal

Off the coast, the North Atlantic right whale, humpback, fin, minke and sperm whales are commonly spotted – depending on currents, water temperature and other factors.

Click here to learn about seals and how to view them safely 

From November through April, Save The Bay offers seal watching tours aboard the education vessels M/V Alletta Morris and M/V Elizabeth Morris. We provide expert guides and binoculars for an educational view of these seasonal marine visitors.

Migratory birds also spend time in Narragansett Bay during their migration in the spring and fall, and many shorebirds come here to nest.

These shorebirds include the endangered piping plover and the least tern.

Raptors have made a comeback in the Bay watershed, and birds such as osprey and bald eagle can be readily seen during nesting season.

Rhode Island is also home to the endangered salt marsh sparrow, which is quickly losing its habitat due to salt marsh loss. This bird nests directly on the salt marsh, and its nests are vulnerable to flooding during high tide.

*Please note:  Be sure to access the Johnson & Wales University Harborside Campus through the main entrance on Harborside Blvd. Your GPS may suggest taking Ernest Street to JWU’s Shipyard Street entrance, but that route requires a key card for entry.  

From Route I-95 North or South, take Exit 18 (Thurbers Avenue). Head downhill on Thurbers Avenue to US Route 1A (Allens Avenue). Turn right onto Allens Ave. Continue southbound on Allens Ave. into Cranston, where Allens Ave. becomes Narragansett Blvd. Turn left onto Harborside Blvd. at the traffic light by the Shell gas station. Follow Harborside Blvd. through the Johnson & Wales Harborside Campus. At the end of Harborside Blvd., turn right onto Save The Bay Drive. Save The Bay Drive becomes a circular, one-way roadway as you approach the Bay Center. Parking is available in four guest lots after you pass the main building. Enter the building through the main entrance.


July 11, 2021

Dear Friends, Supporters and Community Members, 

At this time, Save The Bay’s facilities in Providence and Westerly remain closed to the public in response to COVID-19.

The Exploration Center and Aquarium in Newport reopened Monday, July 5, with new hours and visiting procedures in place.

Save The Bay is offering volunteer and internship opportunities with new policies and procedures for the health and safety of all involved.

Our staff continues to protect and improve Narragansett Bay, working both remotely and on-site. If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone (401-272-3540) or email (, or on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.