This Earth Day, a Chance to Save Endangered Blue Whales

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.


Carrie-Anne Brown

signed and shared, thanks for sharing :)

Mark Donners
Mark Donner5 years ago

The greed humans outnumber the few caring ones and they won't stop until all life is destroyed. The human race is a monstrosity, an anti-life cancer

Fi T.
Past Member 5 years ago

Can all animals be free from adverse human impact on the environment?

.5 years ago

thank you for sharing

Antonio Caprari
Antonio Caprari5 years ago

thank you

Mary L.
Mary L5 years ago

Seriously disturbed Navy, still, they are probably thinking of terrorists. That the whales are suffering for our stupidity as homo saps.

N Towle
Nan Towle5 years ago

Whales are magnificent, intelligent, emotional, sentient beings. They are also mammals and can be curious just like us. It is amazing to me that they are as benevolent as they are to us humans, as we pollute/poison the water, create vast garbage water dump-sites, use Military sonar blasting that bursts their eardrums and causes them to beach themselves as well as disturb calving/birthing areas, run heavily trafficked shipping lanes with vessels that maim and kill them and ultimately hunt and kill them. They just want to live their lives at home, wild,and be left alone. We could do so much better as a species and treat our marine life so much better. There is enough room for all of us. What we do or don't do says more about us that anything else.

Julie Cordner
Julie Cordner5 years ago

Ha! Was about to comment on the lead-in image - ie, NOT a blue whale, but Mark Stephen C. beat me to it! We get humpbacks cruising past our shores (ie, Australia), exiting the Antarctic for a winter in the sun near the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef. Fantastic sight from vantage points like Byron Bay and Hervey Bay.

Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thanks for posting.

Ken W.
Ken W5 years ago