Update: Environmental Groups Seek Regulations to Prevent Whale Strikes

In reference to my earlier post regarding the environmental lawsuit to stop whale strikes, here is the Petition compiled by several environmental groups to regulate ship speed off the coast of California to prevent whale strikes. From the Petition: Pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 553(e), the Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Defense Center, Friends of the Earth, and Pacific Environment (collectively "Petitioners") hereby petition the Secretary of Commerce, through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service, and Office of National Marine Sanctuaries ("ONMS") (collectively, "NOAA") to establish a 10-knot speed limit for large commercial vessels within the national marine sanctuaries off the California coast. The purpose of this action is to reduce and avoid significant threats to sanctuary resources, including protected species, due to ship strikes, noise pollution, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Because NOAA manages the national marine sanctuaries and has jurisdiction over marine mammals, sea turtles, and other marine species in ocean waters under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, Endangered Species Act, and Marine Mammal Protection Act, NOAA is the proper agency to process this petition. We recognize the ONMS has undertaken significant research regarding ship traffic impacts to sanctuary resources, particularly with respect to ship strikes on blue whales and other species in and around the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. We submit this petition with the goal of building upon and furthering these important efforts to protect sanctuary resources.

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