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 BLM California News.bytes 
News.bytes Extra, issue 521

California Coastal National Monument Participates in 'Whale of a Day'

a boy reaches out to touch model starfish as his mom watches
A young visitor reaches out to touch and feel life-like models of crabs and starfish found in and around the tidepools and rocky intertidal portion of the California Coastal National Monument.

For the second year in a row, it was a picture perfect day for the "Whale of a Day" festival held last weekend on southern California's Palos Verdes Peninsula. The California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) participated in this 28th annual day-long event with a booth with CCNM kid-oriented activities. The CCNM booth also provided the opportunity for parents and other adults to obtain information about the California Coastal National Monument and the Bureau of Land Management.

Co-sponsored by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes (a California Coastal National Monument Collaborative Partner) and the docents of Los Serenos de Point Vicente, "Whale of a Day" is an annual festival held at the City's Point Vicente Interpretive Center. The ideal weather brought out more than 3,000 visitors who came to look for whales, explore the interpretive center, and enjoy the various booths, activities, and entertainment.

a family sits at a picnic table overlooking a rocky shore
Looking out from the Point Vicente Interpretive Center's back deck towards Santa Catalina Island, visitors can see the California Coastal National Monument's Whale Rock (in the center right of the photo).

At the California Coastal National Monument booth, a steady stream of visitors made CCNM buttons, created their own CCNM booklet and decorated it, or a CCNM rock coloring page, as they pleased using color markers, crayons, and/or a variety of sea life-related rubber stamps. Some of the kids were fascinated with the life-like plastic crabs, starfish and other creatures on top of a tidepool tablecloth, while other kids studied the plastic specimens under magnifying lenses.

Visitors gather around the BLM's CCNM information booth
The BLM's Jennifer Wohlgemuth and Barbara Croonquist were busy all day as a continuous stream of visitors, young and old, stopped by the CCNM booth.

Making all this great fun happen were California Desert District public contact representative Barbara Croonquist, who coordinated the BLM presence and was also the primary handler of the button making process, while California Desert District staff assistant Jennifer Wohlgemuth took care of the varied kid's activities such as coloring and stamping sheets. BLM volunteers, Dee Deckert, Michael Croonquist, and Mickey Kennedy were also critical to the success of the day-long activities at the CCNM booth.

CCNM manager Rick Hanks was on hand to further educate booth visitors about the California Coastal National Monument by specifically identifying the six locations on the Palos Verdes Peninsula where the public can view the California Coastal National Monument rocks and exposed reefs.

a boy hands in a hand-colored circle to be made into a button
Kids lined up all during the day, to have buttons made from CCNM images they colored.

The "Whale of a Day" festival is held annually to celebrate the migration of the Pacific Gray Whale from the winter breeding and calving grounds in Baja California to their summer feeding grounds in the Bering and Chuchki Seas in Alaska. This year's event, held on Saturday, March 3, reported the sighting of only about seven whales, but porpoise sightings were common and the clear view of Catalina Island to the south and the Santa Monica Mountains to the north made the time spend looking for whales worthwhile.  

Two boys color an image on paper
Two boys decorate the covers of their CCNM booklet.

a girl with a coloring sheet
A young girl decorates a CCNM booklet with stamps and original drawings, and original spelling.

- Rick Hanks, California Coastal National Monument manager, March 6, 2012

 BLM-California News.bytes, issue 521 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.

Last updated: 04-27-2012