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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 22,320
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

Aug 19, 2014 Maria Riojas
Aug 19, 2014 Myriam ROBERT
Aug 19, 2014 gloria martinez
Aug 19, 2014 Carol L Piwowar UNACCEPTABLE !
Aug 19, 2014 Benjamin Emery
Aug 19, 2014 Jennifer Maynard
Aug 19, 2014 Anna Pukhlimskaya
Aug 19, 2014 Scarlett Strong
Aug 19, 2014 Cecilia Chua
Aug 19, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 19, 2014 Wayne Bassett
Aug 19, 2014 Mallory Bacon
Aug 18, 2014 sue lampione
Aug 18, 2014 Joann Matter
Aug 18, 2014 Mary Moghadam
Aug 18, 2014 Sandra McManus
Aug 18, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 18, 2014 cheryl weiss
Aug 18, 2014 janice morgan
Aug 18, 2014 Cynthia Monger
Aug 18, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 18, 2014 Michael Herr
Aug 18, 2014 Liz Burns
Aug 18, 2014 Steven Kalata
Aug 18, 2014 Lisa Scheffenacker
Aug 18, 2014 Jasmine Vaught I would think a woman would at least have a heart for mothers and babies. What, do you think your god will forgive you for the pain and suffering you inflict upon and innocent species? You will be accountable, in this life or the next.
Aug 18, 2014 Gloria and Jack Howe
Aug 18, 2014 Pamela Cisneros
Aug 18, 2014 Gege Hägele
Aug 18, 2014 Joanne VAN NEER
Aug 18, 2014 Mary Wingard
Aug 18, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 18, 2014 Lu Foss
Aug 18, 2014 Barbara Jordan
Aug 18, 2014 Raffaella nonella
Aug 18, 2014 Byron Eatwell
Aug 18, 2014 Barb Nevin
Aug 18, 2014 Karen Dougherty
Aug 17, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Aug 17, 2014 Elenia Landau
Aug 17, 2014 Leonor Tirona
Aug 17, 2014 Kirsten Segbers Stop this and save The earth!!!!
Aug 17, 2014 Sheryl Barnes
Aug 17, 2014 Aurora Herrera
Aug 17, 2014 Lisa Henry
Aug 17, 2014 Claire Sefiane
Aug 17, 2014 Tracy Fozdar
Aug 17, 2014 Elaine Jung

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