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Protect Alaska's Precious Marine Life

14,480 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal

48.27% Complete

Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Increased vessel traffic harms humpback whales and other animals. Take action to protect marine species!


Alaska's breathtaking marine wilderness is home to an extraordinary array of wildlife, including majestic whales, seals, polar bears, and countless other species that make these pristine waters their habitat. Yet, a new development is threatening this natural wonder, and we urgently need your help to safeguard it.

Expanded Marine Highways

The United States Marine Highway Program (MHP) has designated new marine highway routes to improve transportation efficiency and boost economic growth1. On the surface, this expansion seems promising, but a deeper examination reveals environmental concerns that demand our immediate attention2.

Threats to Marine Life

The problem? These new marine highway routes pose a significant threat to the vulnerable and endangered species that inhabit these waters3. The delicate balance of our marine ecosystems is at risk as increased vessel traffic threatens to disrupt their habitats, cause pollution, and lead to deadly ship strikes3.

Whales, including humpbacks and bowheads, already vulnerable to vessel strikes, are at risk of further harm4. Noise pollution from ships can disrupt their communication and navigation5, while habitat disruption could have severe consequences for their survival6.

Join Us in Protecting Our Natural Heritage

The time for action is now. We, concerned citizens, along with conservation organizations, are calling on you to join our mission to protect our threatened and endangered marine life. We urge the Maritime Administration to conduct a comprehensive review of the new Marine Highway Routes, specifically M-11 in Alaska, focusing on their impacts on endangered and threatened species.

Your Voice Can Make a Difference!

By signing our petition, you are demanding that safeguards be implemented to mitigate the risks to marine life. Together, we can ensure that responsible planning and conservation efforts are at the forefront of this expansion.

Here's What You Can Do:

  1. Add your name to the list of others who support this important cause.
  2. Share this petition with your friends, family, and colleagues, amplifying our collective impact.
  3. Stay informed about our progress as we work tirelessly to protect our precious marine life.

Act Now to Preserve Alaska's Natural Beauty!

Our marine life depends on us to be their voice. Don't let this silent threat go unchallenged.

Sign the petition, share it widely, and let the Maritime Administration know that we stand united in protecting Alaska's remarkable ecosystems and the magnificent creatures that call them home.

More on this issue:

  1. Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (17 August 2023), "MARAD Designates Two New Marine Highway Routes."
  2. Maritime Administration, Federal Register (9 April 2010), "America's Marine Highway Program."
  3. Center for Biological Diversity (21 September 2023), "Lawsuit Launched to Protect Alaska’s Whales From Increased Ship Traffic."
  4. Christine Erbe, Joshua Nathan Smith, Jessica V. Redfern, David Peel, Frontiers in Marine Science (21 August 2020), "Editorial: Impacts of Shipping on Marine Fauna."
  5. NOAA Fisheries, "Humpback Whale."
  6. NOAA Fisheries (18 February 2022), "A Whale’s World of Sound."
  7. Anna Kebke, Filipa Samarra and Davina Derous, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (16 May 2022), "Climate change and cetacean health: impacts and future directions."
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The Petition:

To the Administrator of the Maritime Administration,

I am writing as a concerned citizen to express my deep apprehension regarding the potential environmental threats posed by the newly designated Marine Highway Routes, specifically M-11 in Alaska. While the routes hold the promise of boosting transportation efficiency and enhancing economic growth, I believe it is of utmost importance to prioritize the conservation and protection of the fragile ecosystems and endangered species inhabiting these waters.

The expansion of the Marine Highway Program has the potential to significantly impact marine life in the region. The waters encompassed by these routes are vital habitats for diverse species, including whales, seals, polar bears, and other wildlife. The risks associated with increased vessel traffic, such as ship strikes, pollution, noise disturbance, and habitat disruption, are substantial and require immediate attention.

The recent failure to consider the potential consequences on endangered species, particularly whales, when designating these routes is a matter of grave concern. These routes traverse regions known for their rich biodiversity and fragile ecosystems, which are already under threat from climate change. The impacts of maritime shipping could exacerbate the challenges these species face and endanger their survival.

As responsible stewards of our environment, we must ensure that the expansion of the Marine Highway Program is carried out with due diligence, adhering to environmental laws and regulations, most notably the Endangered Species Act. It is imperative that a comprehensive review be conducted to assess the potential threats to marine life and to implement safeguards to mitigate these risks.

I, along with concerned citizens and conservation organizations, urge the Maritime Administration to take the following actions:

  1. Conduct a thorough programmatic-level review of the decision to designate the new Marine Highway Routes, specifically M-11 and M-79, with a focus on their potential impacts on endangered and threatened species.
  2. Collaborate with expert wildlife agencies to analyze the cumulative effects of increased vessel traffic on these species within the program.
  3. Implement safety measures and guidelines to minimize the risks of ship strikes, pollution, and habitat disruption in known critical habitats.
  4. Establish slowdown zones in areas of high marine wildlife density during specific times of the year.
  5. Encourage boater education and awareness programs to promote responsible navigation and the protection of marine life.
  6. Ensure that appropriate program-wide criteria and safeguards are in place to protect imperiled species throughout the Marine Highway Program.

We understand the importance of transportation efficiency and economic growth, but it must not come at the expense of our natural heritage and the survival of endangered species. It is our moral duty to safeguard these ecosystems and protect the vulnerable species that call them home.

I kindly request that you prioritize the well-being of our marine life and conduct a comprehensive review of the new Marine Highway Routes to ensure their compatibility with conservation efforts and environmental laws. Together, we can strike a balance between progress and protection, fostering a sustainable future for both our economy and our environment.

Thank you for your attention to this critical matter.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: