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Recruiting volunteers for 2013-2014 Whale Watching Spoken Here program

Oct. 16, 2013

​Newport, OR - The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is now actively seeking whale-lovers to sign up to participate in its Whale Watching Spoken Here program. The program places trained volunteers at 24 whale-watching sites along the Oregon coast each year during winter and spring watch weeks, when Gray whales migrate along the Pacific coast on their way to and from Alaska. This year, the dates for the whale watching weeks will be Dec. 26-31, 2013 and March 22-29, 2014.

The first of three trainings will take place Saturday, November 30 at the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. The training will be delivered by Dr. Bruce Mate, an expert on whales and director of the Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute. Volunteers who complete the one-day training can select a whale-watching site where they will be stationed to assist visitors in spotting Gray whales and maintain a count of whales spotted.

Additional volunteer trainings will be held Jan. 11, 2014 at the Harris Beach State Park meeting hall in Brookings and Feb. 8, 2014 at the Nehalem Bay State Park meeting hall in Nehalem. Those interested in participating should visit www.whalespoken.org and click on the "Training dates, agendas & registration form" link. The form can be submitted electronically, faxed to 541-765-3402, or mailed to WWSH, Beverly Beach State Park, 198 NE 123rd St., Newport OR 97365.

Whale Watching Spoken Here has been around since 1978 and is one of the most organized onshore whale-watching programs in the U.S. For more information, visit www.whalespoken.org or call 541-765-3304.