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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 22,856
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 2, 2014 carol lewis
Sep 2, 2014 Anna Pukhlimskaya
Sep 2, 2014 milow weber
Sep 2, 2014 Karen Vanover
Sep 2, 2014 Victoria Medina
Sep 2, 2014 Constance Jackson Right Whales DESERVE A PLACE IN THIS WORLD. HELP PLEASE!
Sep 2, 2014 miodrag bozic
Sep 1, 2014 Sarah Krause
Sep 1, 2014 Patricia Connelly
Sep 1, 2014 Carol Keith
Sep 1, 2014 Eva Thorn
Sep 1, 2014 Darlene Falk
Sep 1, 2014 kay joy
Sep 1, 2014 Nadejda Sitnikova
Sep 1, 2014 Luca Lotto
Sep 1, 2014 Carol Page
Sep 1, 2014 Diane Anicker
Sep 1, 2014 Peter Hawkins
Sep 1, 2014 Cindy Grove
Sep 1, 2014 Jolanta Stern
Sep 1, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Sep 1, 2014 Marion Stibbe
Sep 1, 2014 Elisabeth Läderach
Sep 1, 2014 Jillana Laufer Just put the wind farm somewhere else, where the whales are not calving. How simple is that, folks?
Sep 1, 2014 Izabela Bogusławska
Sep 1, 2014 Rosalinda Rayne
Sep 1, 2014 J.A. Jennings
Sep 1, 2014 vera sadkovsky
Sep 1, 2014 Claudia Philippe
Sep 1, 2014 Barbara Coe Don't put off protection any longer! Immediate action is required.
Sep 1, 2014 Brad Ashburn
Sep 1, 2014 Joshua Blackfoot
Sep 1, 2014 Susan Toft
Sep 1, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Sep 1, 2014 Brenna Bailey
Sep 1, 2014 Leigh Castellon
Aug 31, 2014 Susan Palmer
Aug 31, 2014 Kimberly Magnuson Please help these incredible animals.
Aug 31, 2014 jacquelyn kohl
Aug 31, 2014 Darlene hobson We need to do whatever we can to save all of our wildlife everywhere. Can't we be happy with whatever we already have and stop being greedy!
Aug 31, 2014 kasie ribeiro
Aug 31, 2014 Aditya Bhargava
Aug 30, 2014 Joanna Grant
Aug 30, 2014 (Name not displayed)
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

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