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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 23,807
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!

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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

Sep 19, 2014 lisa northrup
Sep 19, 2014 Sophie Shanahan
Sep 19, 2014 Sharon Toscano
Sep 19, 2014 Arthur J Evans Jr save the whales
Sep 19, 2014 Vicki States
Sep 19, 2014 Julie Wallace
Sep 19, 2014 Julia Sperling
Sep 19, 2014 michele desgain
Sep 19, 2014 Robin Mayne
Sep 19, 2014 Justin Bennett
Sep 19, 2014 Tracy Robles
Sep 19, 2014 Marie Alexis Alberini
Sep 19, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Sep 19, 2014 William Tubilleja
Sep 19, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Sep 19, 2014 Vicky Ellory
Sep 19, 2014 Jennifer Pickett
Sep 19, 2014 Deana Miller
Sep 19, 2014 Myriam Mitri
Sep 19, 2014 paris Pistilli
Sep 19, 2014 Elena Gonzalez
Sep 19, 2014 Linda Hertzler
Sep 19, 2014 roscoe outterside
Sep 19, 2014 Violeta Hess Animals have Rights too and this amazing Creatures deserve to have their Rights protected. Please Protect their Habitat !. Thank you.
Sep 19, 2014 Samantha thomas
Sep 19, 2014 Julie Pimentel
Sep 19, 2014 LORA RENNIE These majestic creatures deserve to live in peace. Please stop your attempts to get an offshore area. I live in Washington State and see many wind energy farms on the land. Reaching into the ocean is not necessary. Thank you!
Sep 19, 2014 Diana Campochiaro Please save the right whale now before it's too late.
Sep 19, 2014 Josie Loko
Sep 19, 2014 Linda gilbertson
Sep 19, 2014 martina stamm
Sep 19, 2014 Marcia Rand
Sep 19, 2014 DIana Sommerville
Sep 19, 2014 Shashwat Singh
Sep 19, 2014 noah porter-jones
Sep 19, 2014 Tony Riden Please give these amazing creatures a chance of survival and safeguard their critical calving waters and migration route.
Sep 19, 2014 Alexander Mein
Sep 19, 2014 Line Johansen
Sep 19, 2014 West Ramsey
Sep 19, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Sep 19, 2014 Bente Millek
Sep 19, 2014 Randy Ransom
Sep 19, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Sep 19, 2014 Katherine Shell
Sep 19, 2014 Nildys Gomez
Sep 19, 2014 Mary Keating
Sep 19, 2014 Britney Bergum
Sep 19, 2014 Marion Fazzari
Sep 19, 2014 Dajtina Derguti

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