By Andrea Papagianis
After a six-year absence, whales once again don the walkways of Doheny State Beach.
A California gray whale appeared in early January and was joined by orca and humpback whales on Monday, as a dozen volunteers, with paintbrushes and rollers in hand, took to the pavement canvas to paint life-sized portraits of the marine mammals.
“We’re really pleased to be bringing the Whale Walk back to the park,” said project leader and retired ranger Jim Serpa in a statement. “We can tell by the response of park visitors today that they’re as excited as we to see the return of the Doheny whales.”
The project by the Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association—or DSBIA—is slated to paint five more whales—including minke, sperm and blue whales—and eight dolphin along the beachfront.
“The educational value these paintings provide of the wonderful creatures found just off our beaches is priceless,” said Margie Black, a DSBIA board member and teacher at John S. Malcom Elementary School in Dana Point. “They will hopefully lead to greater public awareness of the need to maintain a healthy environment for us all.”
Volunteers are taking a six-week break while the area is prepared for the spring and summer seasons.