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Goal: 50,000 Progress: 29,549
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!

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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


Oct 21, 2014 Anthony Guzman
Oct 21, 2014 Patricia Jacques Fernandes
Oct 21, 2014 Sara Shaffer
Oct 21, 2014 Diana Helein
Oct 21, 2014 Pamela Sturt
Oct 21, 2014 Rose Waite
Oct 21, 2014 Melinda Spencer
Oct 21, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 21, 2014 Gracinda Rodrigues
Oct 21, 2014 David Ollett
Oct 21, 2014 Lawrence Chow
Oct 21, 2014 Mary Beth Clark
Oct 21, 2014 Susan Bruce
Oct 21, 2014 Cathy Policky
Oct 21, 2014 prosper egan
Oct 21, 2014 Julie Briggs
Oct 21, 2014 Renee Shipley
Oct 21, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 21, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 21, 2014 Carol French Get rid of the sonic blasters tor begin with......
Oct 21, 2014 R. Hunter A huge THANK YOU to everyone who makes the world a better place! You are truly awesome.
Oct 21, 2014 barry singer
Oct 21, 2014 Rhonda Braybrook
Oct 21, 2014 Renee Feliz
Oct 21, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 21, 2014 Cynthia Gaver While I am a great proponent of wind energy and live less than two hours from the massive Fowler Ridge Wind Farm in Indiana, I cannot support or condone the creation of any windfarm that interferes with the habitat of an endangered species nor should you.
Oct 21, 2014 Tobey Thatcher
Oct 21, 2014 Kitya Fitzgerald Please save these darling animals.
Oct 21, 2014 Paula Cash
Oct 21, 2014 Rhonda Watson
Oct 21, 2014 Susan Farquharson
Oct 21, 2014 Barbara Tomlinson
Oct 21, 2014 Elaine Kavanagh
Oct 21, 2014 Bethany Hyatt
Oct 21, 2014 Leonie Willis
Oct 21, 2014 Ruth Parker
Oct 21, 2014 Joan Cummings
Oct 21, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 21, 2014 mary garrigan
Oct 21, 2014 helen moss
Oct 21, 2014 Susan Pencall
Oct 21, 2014 Lorelei Stierlen
Oct 21, 2014 Belinda Mayer
Oct 21, 2014 Linda Staffulani
Oct 21, 2014 lynn kullas
Oct 21, 2014 Kim Cross
Oct 21, 2014 Tamara Layne
Oct 21, 2014 Sandra Barrett
Oct 21, 2014 Dana Maxwell
Oct 21, 2014 Robert Luhm

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