Cape Cod: Marine Stranding Hot Spot

Winter and spring astronomic tides entice marine mammals to chase bait fish deep into serpentine estuaries, trapping them on the oozy bottom as the tide gushes out beneath them. Pilot whale strandings were so frequent in Wellfleet that a major estuary, Blackfish Creek, was named after the bounty they brought the Outer Cape community. Critically endangered sea turtles get trapped in Cape Cod Bay by cold water, get cold-stunned and are tossed on bay beaches by sustained wind events in November and December. Strandings come year-around and involve a committed bunch of adventurous spirits who dedicate themselves to mitigating the impact of Cape Cod's dangerous geography. In July 2002, more than 40 pilot whales stranded in the Run south of Lieutenant Island. The video clip below shows a young calf encircling her beached mother. ~ Don Lewis dmcquadelewis