"Ships To Slow Down Off California To Save Whales And Cut Pollution"

"A program being launched off the California coast this summer will tackle two environmental problems posed by thousands of cargo ships that ferry goods to and from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach each year: Not only are the hulking vessels major sources of air pollution, their shipping lanes overlap with a prime feeding area for migrating blue whales off Santa Barbara.

The voluntary initiative, developed by federal wildlife officials, environmentalists and air quality regulators, will pay shipping companies to slow down ocean vessels as they travel through the Santa Barbara Channel to reduce emissions and avoid colliding with blue whales.

The speed reduction incentive program is the latest effort to address long-standing concerns over ship strikes that have killed dozens of endangered blue, humpback and fin whales over the last 10 to 15 years and threaten their recovery."

Tony Barboza reports for the Los Angeles Times August 6, 2014.

Friday, August 8, 2014