New Mascot for the Hamptons: Mary Lee, the Great White Shark
By VALERIYA SAFRONOVA
JULY 11, 2017
The New York Times
She is somewhere in her 40s or 50s, has more than 119,000 followers on Twitter (where she can sometimes be quite flirtatious) and enjoys summering along the Jersey Shore and the Hamptons.
She weighs about 4,000 pounds and is around 17 feet long. If you’re a seal or a squid, you had better be careful when she comes around.
Meet Mary Lee, a great white shark identified in fall 2012 by Ocearch, an organization that researches and tracks marine species. In the five years since the team first pulled Mary Lee out of the waters near Cape Cod, in Massachusetts, to tag her and collect blood and tissue samples, she has traveled nearly 40,000 miles.
Ocearch traces the path by plotting the pings that occur every time Mary Lee’s dorsal fin surfaces; it is tagged with a device linked to a satellite. During the past three summers, Mary Lee has been a regular on the Northeastern Seaboard, cruising along the Jersey Shore and the Hamptons, Fire Island and Montauk, in New York, attracting the attention of residents and tourists with each visit.
“She has become sort of a mascot,” said Andy Brosnan, the chairman of the Eastern Long Island chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. “Even before she showed up last time, people were like, ‘Has anybody seen anything about Mary Lee?’”
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MY TOP 5 FAVORITE BOOKS ABOUT NY HARBOR
1. Field Guide to the Neighborhood Birds of New York City by Leslie Day
2.Heartbeats in the Muck by John Waldman
3. The Fisheries of Raritan Bay by Clyde L. MacKenzie Jr.
4. Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan by Phillip Lopate
5. The Bottom of the Harbor by Joseph Mitchell