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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

March, 2006

 

Gulf of the Farallones Sanctuary Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Gray Whale Day Cruise

San Francisco - February 13, 2006. On Sunday, March 5th the non-profit Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association will sponsor a day-cruise into the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary beyond the Golden Gate to search for gray whales as they head north to their Arctic feeding grounds. Spring is when grays, including adult females with their young calves, pass by our shores, sometimes very close to land. Marine biologist Carol Keiper, who has led whale watching cruises for twenty years, will provide natural history information on whales, their ocean environment, and conservation issues. Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary is celebrating its 25th Anniversary of ocean protection this year with special events such as this, all year long. Read more at www.farallones.org.
The Sunday March 5th whale watch is aboard the 56-foot Coast Guard certificated vessel "New Superfish" departing the San Francisco Municipal Yacht Harbor on Scott Street. Check-in is 7:30 a.m., return time is approximately 4:00 p.m. Cost is $85 per person (all ages), or $78 for members of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association. Age minimum is ten; those under 16 must be with an adult. We strongly advise reservations. Call Kirk McLaughlin at 415/ 561-6625 ext. 310.

Gray whales are the most coastal of the great whale species found off California, and are the species most often seen by whale enthusiasts, as approximately 20,000 gray whales "commute" between feeding grounds in the Arctic for their breeding grounds in Mexico, sometimes in sight of shore. They represent one of the most significant whale conservation success stories, having been hunted to near-extinction early in the Twentieth Century, but rebounding due to legal protections to what are believed to be are pre-whaling numbers. In 1994 they were removed from the Endangered Species List.

Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, extending from Bodega Head north of the Golden Gate, south to the waters off Half Moon Bay, hosts whales all year-round. During winter and spring the sanctuary is a "marine superhighway" for migrating grays. In summer and fall, giant humpback and blue whales target this area to feed on abundant marine life. For more information, and anniversary events, visit

www.farallones.noaa.gov, or www.farallones.org.


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