Target: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Goal: Protect endangered North American right whales from extinction
The majestic North American right whale was once hunted to the brink of existence. Today, their population still hovers at only 500. Their circumstances are dire and worsening, as protective measures grow lax. Annual right whale migration patterns occur in the spring and fall, tracing the East Coast and unfortunately intersecting with paths of heavy shipping traffic. As a result, right whales face the threat of potentially deadly collisions with shipping vessels–a frightening circumstance, considering that even one North American right whale death would have distressing and irreversible impacts on the population. Despite these perilous conditions, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) recently announced plans to allow the oil and gas industry to use seismic airguns to search for offshore deposits in right whale habitat. This will have a staggeringly harmful effect on right whale populations unless the BOEM revises their protected areas to provide greater safety to marine life.
The seismic blasts of compressed air used during oil exploration are 100,000 times louder than a jet engine, and pose a high risk of injuring Atlantic marine life. The BOEM’s proposed plan only protects right whales up to 23 miles offshore. However, new research reveals that right whales are active year-round between 16 and 63 miles offshore. This suggests that a majority of right whale activity occurs outside of protected areas, but the proposed protection plan does not incorporate this research. Without immediate action, these magnificent animals may be lost forever. Sign the petition below and encourage the BOEM to increase protections for North American right whales.
Dear Bureau of Ocean Energy Management,
The North Atlantic right whale is one of the most endangered marine species on earth. With only 500 remaining, it is of the utmost importance that you protect them from further population reductions. With this in mind, I am greatly concerned over your proposed plan to allow the oil and gas industry to use seismic airguns to search for offshore deposits near right whale habitat. The blasts from these airguns would be damaging to nearby marine life, particularly right whales. New research reveals that right whale migration paths overlap with allowed offshore blasting locations, with the majority of right whale activity occurring in non-protected waters. I urge you to consider the latest scientific research and increase the size of protected areas accordingly.
After hovering at the brink of extinction for so many years, the right whale population cannot bear to suffer any more deaths at human hands. The loss of even a single North American right whale would do significant and irreparable damage to the species. Please take immediate action to preserve these majestic creatures by extending protected areas.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: NOAA via Wikimedia Commons