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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 22,813
Sponsored by: Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund

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

Aug 30, 2014 janine depkon
Aug 30, 2014 Ekaterina Popova
Aug 30, 2014 isabelle monti
Aug 30, 2014 David Kancsar
Aug 30, 2014 Dr Ron Mervis
Aug 30, 2014 Jamie Crockett
Aug 30, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 30, 2014 Norma Sellars
Aug 30, 2014 Alan Ausel
Aug 30, 2014 Joanne Adams
Aug 30, 2014 Kimberly Alexander
Aug 29, 2014 Julian Huffer
Aug 29, 2014 Joy Monetti We need to save the wildlife on land and in sea not to forget the skies.
Aug 29, 2014 Fernanda Van Ysseldyk
Aug 29, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 29, 2014 Shawn Rorke-Davis
Aug 29, 2014 Isabella Roland
Aug 29, 2014 Kevin Puttock
Aug 29, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 29, 2014 John Blair
Aug 29, 2014 Heather Farr
Aug 29, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 29, 2014 Dimitra Arneson
Aug 29, 2014 tamara eis
Aug 29, 2014 Nicole Maddox
Aug 29, 2014 David DeLitta
Aug 29, 2014 Joanna Challacombe
Aug 29, 2014 Lourie Chatfield
Aug 29, 2014 Jennifer Mathis
Aug 29, 2014 Cheryl Smith
Aug 29, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 29, 2014 (Name not displayed) SAVE the habitat of the Northern Right Whales!!!!! They were here before us and we as Humans have an obligation to protect and save them!
Aug 29, 2014 Jeanette Taylor
Aug 29, 2014 Amy Taylor
Aug 29, 2014 erin znidar
Aug 29, 2014 Graham Osborne
Aug 29, 2014 Sarah Pitts
Aug 29, 2014 Cecilia McGhee
Aug 29, 2014 Channah Abraham
Aug 29, 2014 Lara Klymus
Aug 29, 2014 Margaret Ribeiro
Aug 29, 2014 May-Britt Seem
Aug 29, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 29, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 29, 2014 Angela Ercolini
Aug 29, 2014 Tracy Stroh
Aug 29, 2014 Julia Gleeson
Aug 29, 2014 Sophie Van der Jeugdt
Aug 29, 2014 Helen Nolan Please expand ocean habit for Right Whales,we shouldn't even have to petition it's their ocean after all.
Aug 28, 2014 jane hallock We must protect the defenseless among us to maintain the circle of life. All life on earth is precious and interconnected. We need each other to survive.

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