Spring Whale Watch Week will run from March 28 to April 2 with trained volunteers at 17 sites along the coast. (Photo provided by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department)

Oregon State Parks will host Spring Whale Watch Week in person along the Oregon Coast from March 28-April 2, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department announced.

Every year thousands of gray whales pass through Oregon’s waters in the spring on their journey home from the calving lagoons in Mexico.

Trained volunteers will be stationed at 17 sites to help visitors spot whales, share information and answer questions from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. daily.

“Spring is a great time for whale watching because the gray whales are usually closer to shore on their return trip, typically around a mile or so out, and the weather is a little warmer for visitors,” Park Ranger Peter McBride said through a news release.

A map of volunteer-staffed sites is available online on the official event webpage.

An estimated 18,000 gray whales are expected to swim past Oregon’s shores from late March through June as part of their annual migration back toward Alaska. The end of March is the beginning of the migration.

The Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay will be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Visitors to the center will have access to interactive whale exhibits and take in the panoramic ocean views. Binoculars are provided. Rangers from Oregon State Parks will also be on hand to answer questions about the whales.

All Whale Watch Week visitors are encouraged to dress for the weather, bring binoculars and follow beach safety guidelines such as remaining out of fenced areas, knowing the tide schedule and keeping an eye on the surf at all times.

A list of safety tips is available online.For more information about coast parks and campgrounds, visit oregonstateparks.org.