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Massachusetts Right Whale Day is April 24th

Massachusetts Right Whale Day is April 24th

Success for right whales came January 4, when outgoing governor Charlie Baker signed a bill to establish every April 24 as Right Whale Day in Massachusetts.

Rob Moir, left, and Matt Delaney, right, presented state Rep. Josh Cutler, D-Plymouth, with more than 500 comments and signatures on the importance of declaring April 24 Massachusetts Right Whale Day.

The bill was filed by state Rep. Josh Cutler, D-Plymouth, in response to one family’s experience with right whales. In December, 2022, Massachusetts House and Senate approved a day in recognition of right whales and their plight.

In 2004, a few days after Ramona Delaney’s 93-year-old grandmother had died peacefully, Ramona, with husband Matt Delaney and 14-year-old daughter Katrina, purchased an over-sand permit for their jeep and drove out through the sand dunes of Race Point at the northernmost tip of Cape Cod. A ripple in the seawater quite close-by drew their attention.

Suddenly, an enormous black head rose high above the water. Gazing their way was a huge eye the size of a softball. The right whale wheeled forward and disappeared beneath the waves. Later, a right whale breached. Its entire body came out of the water and, rotating, it splashed down on its backside sending up great curtains of spray. The right whale breached many times over the course of about an hour.

The Delaney family all felt this incredible, yet intimate encounter was a sign that Ramona’s grandmother was OK. They found the solace they were seeking when the spirit of life shined brightly in a majestic right whale on that day in April.

The Delaney family has celebrated April 24 as right whale day ever since and asked that this special day become a time when everyone can cherish North Atlantic right whales.

Ocean conservation and the preservation of whales and all marine life are the focus of the Ocean River Institute.

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