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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 23,760
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 19, 2014 Marion Fazzari
Sep 19, 2014 Dajtina Derguti
Sep 19, 2014 Patti Clark
Sep 19, 2014 Jeff Hacon
Sep 19, 2014 katleen van eynde
Sep 19, 2014 Deborah Marshall
Sep 19, 2014 Kayla Laskey
Sep 19, 2014 rebecca gilchrist
Sep 19, 2014 Dianne Holland
Sep 19, 2014 Sally Sanford
Sep 19, 2014 Lisa Griffith
Sep 19, 2014 Tabitha Schirtzinger
Sep 19, 2014 Elisabeth Lehner
Sep 19, 2014 Vic Tam
Sep 19, 2014 Lauren D
Sep 19, 2014 Cheryl Strube
Sep 19, 2014 Barb Palmquist
Sep 19, 2014 Katherine Dyar
Sep 19, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Sep 19, 2014 sandra bronson
Sep 19, 2014 caroline anderson
Sep 19, 2014 shaleen ramharacksingh
Sep 19, 2014 Cody Ross
Sep 19, 2014 Carys Griffiths
Sep 19, 2014 Cierra Robinson
Sep 19, 2014 Carol Thomas PLEASE support these magnificent creatures!!!!!!
Sep 19, 2014 Fatima Buchert
Sep 19, 2014 Tammy Osuna
Sep 19, 2014 Alexandra Maukar
Sep 19, 2014 patti miller
Sep 19, 2014 Kimberly Blackburn These beautiful and majestic creatures created by God, all should be prorected.
Sep 19, 2014 Jan Subert Some years ago, I stopped eating saltwater fish and by stating this here, I make the reason for that decision of mine pretty obvious.
Sep 19, 2014 Jamie Howard
Sep 19, 2014 Rachel Cohen
Sep 19, 2014 Helene Kippert
Sep 19, 2014 Michele LaPorte
Sep 19, 2014 Corey Burr
Sep 19, 2014 Denise Trepanier
Sep 19, 2014 CaSandra Alberty
Sep 19, 2014 Annette Anderson
Sep 19, 2014 Tanzir Hossain
Sep 19, 2014 sandra mizrahi
Sep 19, 2014 safa shah
Sep 19, 2014 jessica pimentel We need them to be protected! Without them we are nothing. We need to learn to respect!!!
Sep 19, 2014 Annette Kirkgaard
Sep 19, 2014 (Name not displayed)
Sep 19, 2014 Sandy Gullion
Sep 19, 2014 Raymond Wilcox All creatures have the right to live, and in an adequate habitat. Many, but not all can live with human encroachment. Please help those who cannot to survive alongside human expansion of the planet which belongs to all living creatures.
Sep 19, 2014 Heather Voss

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