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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 20,485
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

Jul 23, 2014 Patricia Rowell
Jul 23, 2014 Laurene Kapinos
Jul 23, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Jul 23, 2014 Tammy Rankin
Jul 23, 2014 christine renaud
Jul 23, 2014 gerardo arteaga
Jul 23, 2014 d m
Jul 23, 2014 Eugenia James 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. Any habitat displacement could be disastrous to the species. Thank you for your support in this matter.
Jul 23, 2014 Sandra Rose
Jul 23, 2014 John Chapman
Jul 23, 2014 Kalinke ten Hulzen
Jul 23, 2014 Themis Haniotis We have to work together. They rights just as we do. Save nature, save the earth. TH
Jul 23, 2014 Jürgen Lorenczat
Jul 23, 2014 Sabrina Holland
Jul 23, 2014 raul ocampo
Jul 23, 2014 Diana Cato
Jul 23, 2014 Rossemary Anderson
Jul 23, 2014 Judith Abbott
Jul 23, 2014 kathryn Allen
Jul 23, 2014 Laura Combs
Jul 23, 2014 Sherri Johns
Jul 23, 2014 Margaret Case
Jul 23, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Jul 23, 2014 Sandra Andler
Jul 23, 2014 Tamara Andersen
Jul 23, 2014 Kristina Aguilera
Jul 23, 2014 Shelly Borden
Jul 23, 2014 Brenda Miller We need to take care of the whales and rethink the installation of these facilities that will cause harm to the right whales. It is their sea, not ours
Jul 23, 2014 Karen Simpson
Jul 23, 2014 mirela frunza
Jul 23, 2014 sandy kopp
Jul 23, 2014 Olive Bryan
Jul 23, 2014 Lynda Boyd
Jul 23, 2014 judy schwartz
Jul 23, 2014 Frank Orner
Jul 23, 2014 Guidon Valerie
Jul 23, 2014 Kris Priester
Jul 23, 2014 Diana Crowson
Jul 23, 2014 Deb Kingston
Jul 23, 2014 (Name not displayed) Please protect the right whales.
Jul 23, 2014 Anita Smith
Jul 23, 2014 Olive Thom Its their oceans not ours
Jul 23, 2014 Charlotte Gonzales It is our duty to take care of the planet and all of its inhabitants.
Jul 23, 2014 Annie Linton
Jul 23, 2014 Leonor Rico
Jul 23, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Jul 23, 2014 Michael Guest Stop hold back. You need to further action to help and expand these habitats for the right whales. Time is now. This is very important.
Jul 23, 2014 S Matthews
Jul 23, 2014 Janet Lynch These critically endangered whales need all the help they can get.

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