Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
November 3, 2021
Right Whale Festival organizers Chuck Oliva, Candis Whitney and members of the Amelia Island Right Whale Action Group attended the November 2, 2021 Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) meeting to accept a Proclamation from Mayor Mike Lednovich declaring November 2021 “Right Whale Month.”
Mayor Lednovich recapped the history of the right whale in its decline from an estimated population of thousands to fewer than 400 today. He affirmed the City’s commitment and partnership with Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute and NOAA Fisheries to the conserve and protect of North Atlantic right whales. Each fall, right whales travel more than 1,000 miles 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 and nurse their young.
In accepting the Proclamation, Chuck Oliva thanked the City and said that one of the goals of the Amelia Island Right Whale Action Group is to call as much attention to the plight of the right whale as to sea turtles. He said that sea turtles are laying eggs on beaches all over the world, whereas the only known calving ground for right whales is right off Fernandina Beach’s Atlantic Coast.
The Action Group is hosting its second annual Right Whale Festival at Main Beach this weekend — November 6 and 7 — to celebrate the annual return of right whales to our warm coastal waters. This family-fun event raises awareness of the threats to right whales and how to aid in their recovery. The festival highlights local efforts to protect these whales from extinction as well as ocean-themed activities and exhibits that emphasize education and environmentally responsible adventures and products.
For more information about the festival, visit http://www.rightwhalefestival.com .