Drone shot of gray whale

Gray whales migrate up the West Coast during the spring, providing many opportunities for whale watchers.

Whale watching and education opportunities return to the coast during the Spring Whale Watch Week beginning Saturday, March 23.

To celebrate the more than 20,000 gray whales expected to migrate north past Oregon over the next few months, volunteers with the Whale Watching Spoke Here program will take up stations at 24 sites along the coast from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day of the week.

Volunteers will be posted at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Washington state’s Cape Disappointment State Park, at the Peter Iredale shipwreck in Fort Stevens State Park, at Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach and at the Neahkahnie Mountain historic marker near Arch Cape.

The volunteers will help people spot whales and also keep count of the number of whales passing by.

Gray whales migrate from the south each year after wintering in warm lagoons off the coast of Baja, Mexico. Many of the whales are accompanied by their new calves and are heading to feeding grounds in Alaskan waters. The first large groups of whales pass by Oregon in mid-March and the migratory stream typically continues into July.

Some whales, however, go no farther than Depoe Bay and are referred to as resident gray whales. The Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

For more information about the Spring Whale Watch Week, visit tinyurl.com/y8px4rbx

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