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Goal: 50,000 Progress: 29,985
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 24, 2014 Lisa Nathan
Oct 24, 2014 Brad Yoho
Oct 24, 2014 Hyman Schaffer
Oct 24, 2014 Mary Getten Please protect these whales before it is too late.
Oct 24, 2014 Katherine Garrison
Oct 24, 2014 Michael Dinius
Oct 24, 2014 Stella Stephens
Oct 24, 2014 Traci Golden
Oct 24, 2014 Debbie Marsala
Oct 24, 2014 Elena Aponte
Oct 24, 2014 Susan and Howard Benesch We have had ther rare opportunity to see a mother right whale with her calf in the wild. Absolutely aa lifetime event. Please protect this truly endangered species.
Oct 24, 2014 M Rosenthal
Oct 24, 2014 Diana Koehler
Oct 24, 2014 Margaret Coyle
Oct 24, 2014 David Young
Oct 24, 2014 Rosa Camacho
Oct 24, 2014 Scott Tecza
Oct 24, 2014 Stella Delia LEAVE THEIR HABITAT ALONE!!!
Oct 24, 2014 Melanie Fornes
Oct 24, 2014 Naomi Jansen van Vuuren
Oct 24, 2014 Carmen Fulle
Oct 24, 2014 Linda Darbidian
Oct 24, 2014 Gabriela Moreira
Oct 24, 2014 Marilyn Watkins
Oct 24, 2014 Lori Cochran
Oct 24, 2014 Sunetra Neogy
Oct 24, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 24, 2014 lucia fabbo
Oct 24, 2014 Preston Wentz
Oct 24, 2014 Cecilia Edren
Oct 23, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 23, 2014 Jeya Nandagopan
Oct 23, 2014 Melissa Laster
Oct 23, 2014 Emily Schmidt
Oct 23, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 23, 2014 Diane Alcibar
Oct 23, 2014 Jennie Rolon
Oct 23, 2014 Angela Taillez
Oct 23, 2014 Chad Cook
Oct 23, 2014 Arlene Romero
Oct 23, 2014 Kimberly Martinez
Oct 23, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 23, 2014 lv chen
Oct 23, 2014 Leland Brun
Oct 23, 2014 Kristi Frech
Oct 23, 2014 Mary Davidson Stanton
Oct 23, 2014 molly laurie
Oct 23, 2014 ekaterini tina caroussos
Oct 23, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Oct 23, 2014 Barbara Kulmer

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