Whale Fiesta at Cabrillo Aquarium heralds migration season

Celebrating the migration of the pacific gray whale and the beginning of the whalewatching season, volunteers  build a 75 foot life sized sand sculpture of the world's largest whale, the blue whale. This event is the start of the CMA's 75 year anniversary celebration.
Celebrating the migration of the pacific gray whale and the beginning of the whalewatching season, volunteers build a 75 foot life sized sand sculpture of the world's largest whale, the blue whale. This event is the start of the CMA's 75 year anniversary celebration. Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

In Long Beach, the Cabrillo Aquarium hosts a whale fiesta Sunday. KPCC's Molly Peterson reports it's timed to coincide with the appearance of annual visitors off southern California's coast.

Grey whales manage the longest migration of any whale observed so far. They travel 10- to 12-thousand miles each year: wintering in calving lagoons in Mexico's warm waters, and spending summers feeding in the Arctic Ocean.

In Santa Barbara, off Coal Oil point, close to 100 volunteers plan to count whales that travel in near- shore waters.

For the 40th straight year, Cabrillo Aquarium notes the gray whales' arrival with a party. It's family-oriented: as they've done before, people will build a life-size whale out of sand on a nearby beach.

Puppet shows, music, a duct tape whale- building contest and exhibits aim to teach parents and kids about whales and other southern California marine life.

The fiesta's free; aquarium admission includes access to the Exploration center, the aquatic nursery and the marine research library.

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