Gray whales are on the move south again this December and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is celebrating the migration with the annual Whale Watching Week Dec. 27-31.
Volunteers from the Whale Watching Spoken Here program will be stationed at 24 sites along the Oregon coast during the event. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day offering whale watching tips and facts about the animals.
A map of the 24 volunteer whale watch sites can be found on whalespoken.org.
Every winter an estimated 20,000 Gray whales migrate south from Alaska to the warm calving lagoons off the coast of Baja, Mexico. Whale Watching Week coincides with the highest frequency of whales swimming down the coast; roughly 30 whales pass by per hour.
Luke Parsons, an OPRD ranger with the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay, says one of the goals of the event is to create awareness and compassion for whales and other marine life.
“Whales are a special part of the Oregon coast,” said Parsons. “We’re very proud to work with our volunteers to help visitors connect with the whales and our oceans.”
Camping, including yurts and cabins, is available at state parks on the coast. Visit oregonstateparks.org for information and to make a reservation.