NOAA sponsors eighth annual Right Whale Festival

Contact:
Allison  Garrett
(727) 551-5750
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 14, 2016

FREE Public Event Provides Early Warning that the Start of Right Whale Migration Season is Near

NOAA Fisheries, Sea to Shore Alliance and other dedicated partners are hosting the eighth annual Right Whale Festival at the Seawalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach, FL, Saturday, October 1. The FREE family event celebrates the endangered North Atlantic right whale’s upcoming return to northeast Florida. North Atlantic right whale calving season begins in mid-November and runs through mid-April.

The day begins at 9 a.m. with a beach clean-up sponsored and coordinated by Keep Jacksonville Beautiful. The festival kicks off at 10 a.m. with live music featuring Kalani Rose, The Crazy Daysies, the George Aspinall Band and De Lions of Jah. Meet right whale biologists, visit dozens of educational booths, various artists, play games, win prizes and enjoy a variety of food. For more information visit www.rightwhalefestival.com.

Endangered North Atlantic right whales migrate south, more than 1,000 miles away from their feeding grounds off Canada and New England to the warm coastal waters of South Carolina, Georgia and northeast Florida. These southern waters are the only known calving area for the species, an area where they give birth to and nurse their young.

Before the right whales arrive, come learn about the ongoing efforts to protect them, such as the “Early Warning System (EWS).”  While this festival is alerting the public of the upcoming arrival of the right whales, the EWS alerts mariners to the presence of right whales in order to change course and avoid striking and killing a right whale in the Southeast U.S. Marine mammal researchers and conservation group representatives will be available during the event to answer questions. 

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.

On the web:

More information on the North Atlantic right whale: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/mm/rightwhales/rwconservation.htm

NOAA Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office:  http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/

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