Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
November 19, 2020
At the November 17, 2020 City Commission Meeting, Fernandina Beach Mayor John Miller, a committed environmentalist, presented Cheryl Munday with a City Proclamation declaring November 2020 to be Right Whale Month. The proclamation reaffirmed the City’s commitment in partnership with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute and NOAA Fisheries Service to conserve and protect North Atlantic right whales.
The North Atlantic right whale has still not recovered from being hunted to near extinction. Today, less than 400 right whales exist. They are a federally protected endangered species under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. 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.
Cheryl Munday, who accepted the proclamation on behalf of the Right Whale Festival, thanked the City and expressed optimism about holding future festivals once more in Fernandina Beach.