NOAA Fisheries, Sea to Shore Alliance and other dedicated partners are hosting the fourth annual Right Whale Festival at the Sea Walk Pavilion on Jacksonville Beach, Fla., Saturday,

November 17. The festival celebrates the endangered North Atlantic right whale’s annual return to the southeast coast. These southern waters are the only known calving area for the species.

The FREE family event begins at 9:00am with a beach clean-up. Then, try making your way through a right whale obstacle course, see Stella the near life-size illustration of a right whale calf, listen to live music provided by Split Tone and the Saltwater Cowgirls, play games, win prizes and enjoy good food. For an entire schedule of events visit www.rightwhalefestival.org

Each winter 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. Festival attendees will be able to learn more about this migration pattern and the on-going efforts to protect the species. 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/

Image courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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