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News | April 9, 2015

Navy Participates in Tybee Island Right Whale Festival

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John Parker Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast

Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast and the United States Fleet Forces Command (USFFC) participated in the 2015 Tybee Island Right Whale festival March 21. 

The Tybee Island Right Whale Festival also known as the FareWhale Festival is a celebration and exploration of the rare birthing of North Atlantic right whale calves off the North Atlantic Coast. 

There are only about 450 of these special whales remaining, and their journey takes them through Savannah's own Tybee Island to give birth to their calves. This free and fun event was hosted by Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary.

It was the first time a team from NAVFAC and USFFC attended the Tybee Island event. The representatives manned a booth, handed out informational packets and answered questions for the general public. 

"The festival is a great opportunity to engage the community and allows a unique opportunity to bring the Navy's message to those interested in marine mammal conservation and the Navy's impact to the marine environment," said Robert Kalin, USFFC operations/environmental program coordinator.

The team spent time handing out paper hats, teaching kids with origami whales, and organizing hula hoop whale tail contests. The event offered opportunities for interested adults to address questions, concerns and general thoughts to the Navy personnel. 

Nancy Allen, NAVFAC Southeast marine resources specialist, summed up the importance of the Navy's role at this event. 

"Events like this one give us a chance to get out and show support to our environmental partners, build relationships and to educate the community on ways Navy works to protect the North Atlantic right whale."