Target: U.S. Coast Guard
Goal: To speed up the process of enforcing the changes in rerouting of shipping lanes in order to protect endangered whales.
Over the past several years, it has become clear that there has been a serious conflict between shipping routes and their interference with whales on the coast. Several whales have been killed from ship strikes near the California Coast in the past few years. Something is finally being done about this, as the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have proposed route adjustments for shipping lanes, and the International Maritime Organization (which governs global shipping) has finally approved three proposals that will shift one of these lanes.
While the U.S. Coast Guard should be commended for their part in helping protect whales on the coast, it is unfortunate how long it has taken for any sort of action to be taken. In the past five years alone it is estimated that at least nine whales have been striken by shipping vessels, of which at least four have been endangered blue whales. In addition, the changes to the shipping lanes are not likely to go into effect until the end of next year, meaning that whales will continue to be put in danger because of the current shipping vessel routes. The U.S. Coast Guard has to publish official notices, complete an environmental assessment, and take public comment before this proposal can be put into effect, which is understandable, yet there is no reason that it should take until the end of next year for this to happen. We are dealing with the safety of endangered species, and the U.S. Coast Guard needs to consider this.
By signing this petition you are commending the U.S. Coast Guard for their part in protecting the endangered blue whales, and are urging them to move up the timeline for changing the shipping routes off the California coast in order to ensure the whales’ safety.
Dear U.S. Coast Guard,
I am writing in order to show my support of your initiative to change the shipping routes off the California Coast in order to protect endangered whales. While I think your initiative will help save the lives of many whales, I believe that you are not doing everything in your power to ensure their safety. Considering there have been multiple whale deaths off the California Coast over the past several years, the fact that it has taken this long for you to take action is unacceptable. In addition, the proposed timeline for the changes to come into effect clearly shows that your sense of urgency in the matter is lacking.
I urge you to move up the timeline for the change in shipping routes, and consider this matter with more urgency. While these changes are merely a minor navigational shift for the shipping industry, by enforcing these changes sooner rather than later it could make all the difference for these whales. By the end of next year, when these changes are meant to take place, there could potentially be several more whale deaths, and the blue whales are already an endangered species. Please take the necessary measures to ensure these changes are made before the end of next year, when it could be too late for many of these whales.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: flickr.com