Educational Signs Increase Right Whale Awareness

As a result of a grant awarded to FWC educational signs are being posted throughout the Southeastern United States to increase right whale awareness.

FWC staff installing right whale signThe Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was awarded a grant in 2004 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation aimed at increasing mariner awareness of right whale conservation and recovery through the development and strategic placement of right whale protection signs. The 3-foot by 4-foot metal signs provide information such as physical characteristics that help to identify right whales, and includes a map showing seasonal distribution of right whales off of the coastal southeastern United States. The signs also highlight how the boating public can help protect this endangered species, including abiding by the federal 500-yard no approach regulation and immediately contacting the U.S. Coast Guard if an injured, entangled, or dead right whale is sighted.  Partners with this project include the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The FWC, along with these partners, are strategically placing approximately 140 signs at participating facilities throughout the coastal areas of the southeastern United States. The signs are generally placed within close proximity to oceanic inlets near the right whales' migratory route or calving areas. Right whale signs can also be found at major boat ramp facilities servicing boaters who frequent these coastal waters.

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