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Goal: 50,000 Progress: 31,297
Sponsored by: Defenders of Wildlife

Right whales spend much of their time feeding on or near the sea's surface, which make them especially vulnerable to ship strikes and entanglement in commercial fishing gear. One recent study found that 75 percent or more of surviving right whales bear scars from past encounters with commercial fishing lines.

Even worse, new threats to whales and their habitat are emerging, like the use of powerful sonic blasters for offshore energy exploration and military research.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has publicly acknowledged that new habitat protections are urgently needed. The agency agreed in 2010 to act, but so far has done nothing.

Tell NMFS to expand critically-needed ocean habitat for the North Atlantic Right Whale, before it’s too late!

Sign Here

Tell Donna Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, to Protect Critical Habitat for North Atlantic Right Whales!

Dear Director Wieting,

I'm writing to you today to request that you take urgent action and expand ocean habitat for northern right whales before it's too late.

BOEM is currently considering whether to lease an area offshore of Georgia for wind energy exploration in the right whales' only known calving area, which is not designated as critical habitat. Installation of these facilities and others, will involve intense and harmful noise from pile driving. Once installed, the effect on right whale mothers and calves in a maze of turbines in calving and nursing habitat or along their migratory route is unknown. Any habitat displacement could be disastrous to the species.

Although the right whale has been listed as endangered since 1970, the species is making little progress toward recovery. Your agency has identified entanglement in commercial fishing gear and ship strikes as the two primary factors impeding the North Atlantic right whale's recovery, prioritizing the identification and protection of right whale habitat as essential to recovery.

Your agency has repeatedly stated that the species' survival is dependent on protecting every individual, concluding that the "loss of even a single individual may contribute to the extinction of the species," and that "if current trends continue, the population could go extinct in less than 200 years." As recently as 2008, NMFS stated that "the population can sustain no deaths or serious injuries due to human causes if its recovery is to be assured."

Over the past decade, your own scientists have repeatedly stated that the currently-designated right whale critical habitat is not protective enough and leaves the species vulnerable to injury and death in its most essential habitat areas. The designation of "critical habitat" is one of the fundamental mechanisms by which the ESA aims to conserve and recover imperiled species.

With fewer than 450 North Atlantic right whales left, expanding critical habitat to protect the species' key feeding and breeding areas off the Northeast coast, calving grounds off the Southeast coast, and its mid-Atlantic migration route will help prevent this rare and charismatic whale's extinction and ensure its eventual recovery.

Please expand critically-needed ocean habitat for the northern right whale, before it's too late.

Thank you for your consideration.

Petition Signatures

Nov 21, 2014 Angie Amonett
Nov 21, 2014 Marisela Vega
Nov 21, 2014 Carmen Spillmann
Nov 21, 2014 Shirley Cupani
Nov 21, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 21, 2014 Felicia Plastini
Nov 21, 2014 Grace Adams A whale transported Jonah to where **** wanted him in Ninevah. The least we can do for whales is to avoid disrupting their nursery where they birth and bring up their babies.
Nov 21, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 21, 2014 robert connolly
Nov 21, 2014 Kristie King
Nov 21, 2014 Hannah Thandi
Nov 21, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 21, 2014 B Luna
Nov 21, 2014 Sylvie Robin
Nov 21, 2014 Britney Bergum
Nov 21, 2014 Jodi Zaparaskas
Nov 21, 2014 Bob Okroi Perhaps the most noble of human acts are those contributing to the salvation of one of Earth's precious species and perhaps the most heinous of human acts are those contributing to the extinction of one of Earth's precious species.
Nov 21, 2014 Joanne Mohammed
Nov 21, 2014 Bert Elliott Please help these beautiful animals. We have done enough damage to the whales in our planet's oceans. The time to stop is now. Thank you, ma'am.
Nov 21, 2014 Maritza Mohr
Nov 21, 2014 Barbara J. Blatnick Please take urgent action and expand the ocean habital for northern right whales they before it is to late. Please do whatever is needed to keep them alive.
Nov 21, 2014 Shelley Eng
Nov 21, 2014 kenneth marcus
Nov 21, 2014 wayne freitag
Nov 21, 2014 antonia alvino
Nov 21, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 21, 2014 Carla Houck
Nov 21, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 21, 2014 grace noll
Nov 21, 2014 Manuela Werthwein
Nov 21, 2014 Isabelle Skiba
Nov 21, 2014 america martinez
Nov 21, 2014 cindy allen
Nov 21, 2014 maria mastropaolo-bocle
Nov 21, 2014 Lucie Renaud Stop NOW
Nov 21, 2014 Karen Coll Killing these mammals is detrimental to our eco system, stop messing with our world.
Nov 21, 2014 Emilie Schaumburg
Nov 21, 2014 Janet Brandon
Nov 21, 2014 cheryl syer
Nov 21, 2014 Janice Taylor
Nov 21, 2014 ana kovic
Nov 21, 2014 Brittany Kirzner
Nov 21, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 21, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Nov 21, 2014 Kathy Bingham
Nov 21, 2014 Kevin Oleg
Nov 21, 2014 Lindsey Baldewicz

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