Written by Claire Morgenstern, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)
At 100 feet long, the blue whale is the largest animal believed to have ever lived on Earth. A century ago, more than 350,000 of these magnificent creatures thrived in our planet’s ocean waters. Today, fewer than 10,000 remain.
So it’s all the more horrifying that these gentle giants are being struck and killed by commercial ships off the coast of California.
Every summer and fall, blue whales migrate to the California coast to feed on the massive blooms of krill, their favorite food. Unfortunately, these feeding grounds have been invaded 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, helpless blue whales are tragically rammed by the giant ships or cut to ribbons by the huge propellers.
What’s more, there’s a simple life-saving 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 bypass the blue whale’s feeding grounds and be much less likely to strike and kill them.
But so far, the Navy has refused.
In honor of Earth Day, join thousands who are helping save some of the world’s last blue whales by telling Obama Administration to open these Naval waters to commercial traffic. You can also help save our planet’s oceans by giving the gift of ocean protection in the name of a friend or family member.
This video, narrated by Sigourney Weaver, will remind you just how much is at stake when it comes to protecting the underwater paradise that lies just off our shores:
Our world’s oceans are teeming with marine mammals, sea turtles and other magnificent creatures. But the ocean remains threatened by plastic garbage, oil spills, overfishing and dangerous military sonar.
Just last year, NRDC and our Members helped create a chain of underwater parks off the coast of California to permanently protect the marine life that make their homes there. It was one of the most ambitious ocean protection efforts in history — and it’s just the beginning of what we must do to restore and protect the incredible diversity of life found in the world’s oceans.
This Earth Day, I hope you’ll do two things to help defend our planet’s oceans and marine life. First, send a message to the Obama Administration to protect endangered blue whales by opening the Navy’s waters to commercial shipping traffic.
Then, give the gift of ocean protection in the name of a friend or family member. Your gift will help NRDC’s attorneys and scientists defend the amazing web of ocean life that lies just off our shores. It’s a great way to celebrate Earth Day, honor someone special and do something that will actually help save the planet all at the same time.