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Special MDC Lecture

Jan 20th, 2017 | Category: Announcements, Central Florida News, MDC News

Special MDC Lecture Will Feature North Atlantic Right Whales

Julie Albert will be the guest speaker for a special February lecture at the Marine Discovery Center. Albert is the manager of the Marine Resources Council’s North Atlantic Right Whale Monitoring Program.

The lecture will be held Thursday, Feb. 2, starting at 6 p.m., and will be hosted by the Marine Discovery Center, located at 520 Barracuda Boulevard in New Smyrna Beach.

Albert directs The Right Whale Volunteer Sighting Network, which began in 1994. The network currently has more than 800 volunteers along the east coast of Florida who have been trained to recognize Right Whales and report sightings of the animals to authorities to help avoid whale/ship collisions.

North Atlantic Right Whales die primarily from ship strikes, which account for more than 30 percent of their documented deaths. Commercial fishing gear is also a threat to the mothers and calves that winter off the Florida coastline. The current worldwide population of these whales is thought to be around 500.

The whales spend summers feeding and breeding in New England and Canada. During the winter months, females migrate to the warm waters of Florida and Georgia to give birth to their calves. This region is the only known place in the world where North Atlantic Right Whales give birth.

A mother and calf have already been spotted off the shoreline of New Smyrna Beach in January. Albert asks local residents and winter guests who reside on the Atlantic coast to become trained in how to recognize North Atlantic Right Whales and to get involved as a volunteer spotter.

The program will highlight everything citizens and guests need to know as whale-spotter volunteers during the February 2 presentation.

At the conclusion of her presentation, Albert will answer questions about whales and the volunteer program.

The lecture is open to the public at no charge. No reservations are required.

For more information about the MRC’s North Atlantic Right Whale Monitoring Program, call 321-725-7775.

For more information about the lecture, contact the Marine Discovery Center at 386-428-4828.

This is a special February lecture at MDC. We will have our usual third-Thursday-of-the-month lecture, but we wanted to provide the below information now about this special presentation. Please share the lecture information when and wherever you can to make citizens aware of this opportunity to learn more about the North Atlantic Right Whales.
Thank you!
Lisa Mickey, MDC