Rallying for Blue Whales on Earth Day

This Earth Day I rallied in Washington, D.C. with Mz Blue – a life-sized, 90-foot inflatable blue whale designed (and transported) by the Great Whale Conservancy (GWC). 

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GWC organized this event in D.C. to raise awareness of the plight of blue whales, which are being needlessly struck and killed by commercial ships off the coast of California. “We have to speak for the whales,” said GWC co-Director Gershon Cohen, “because they can’t speak for themselves.”

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Every summer and fall, blue whales migrate to the California coast to feed on the massive blooms of krill.  Unfortunately, these feeding grounds are crisscrossed by some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, through which massive tankers move millions of tons of cargo to the busy ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. As a result, blue whales are tragically rammed by the giant ships or cut to ribbons by the huge propellers.

But there is a simple solution. If the U.S. Navy opened waters around its Pt. Mugu Naval Air Station to commercial traffic, then hundreds of cargo ships, oil tankers and cruise liners could voluntarily bypass the blue whale’s seasonal feeding grounds and be much less likely to strike and kill them.

So far, the Navy has refused.

Tens of thousands of NRDC members and activists have already asked the Obama Administration to open the Navy’s waters to commercial shipping traffic. “It’s time for the Obama Administration to realize this is a solvable problem – low hanging fruit – to sanction an existing route that ships have been using,” said Cohen.  “The ships have a choice, the Navy has a choice, but the whales don’t have a choice.”

This Earth Day, please join us and send your message to the Obama Administration to protect endangered blue whales by opening these waters. Mz Blue thanks you!

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