Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Take Action to Protect Beluga Whale Habitat (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2010 14:53:08 -0500 (EST)
From: Center for Biological Diversity <>
Subject: Take Action to Protect Beluga Whale Habitat

Dear Alan,

Once numbering more than 1,000 whales, the Cook Inlet beluga has been reduced to just more than 300 individuals and is now threatened by oil and gas development, coal mining, pollution, shipping, and other impacts to its habitat: Cook Inlet, the fastest-growing watershed in Alaska.

In October 2008, federal officials responded to a petition and litigation by the Center for Biological Diversity and our allies by protecting Cook Inlet's magnificent beluga whale as an endangered species -- over the objections of then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

But rather than designate federally protected critical habitat for the beluga at the time of listing -- as required by the Endangered Species Act -- the Fisheries Service deferred habitat protection for a year. After no action in a year, the Center formally notified the agency in October 2009 that we'd file a lawsuit to force the overdue habitat designation.

Last December, in response to the Center's efforts, the federal National Marine Fisheries Service finally took an important step toward protecting this imperiled whale's critical habitat by proposing to designate more than 3,000 square miles of habitat for protection.

The Fisheries Service is receiving pressure from the oil and coal industries as well as Alaska's congressional delegation to slash the beluga's critical habitat. The Service needs to hear from you to make sure that this proposal is expanded, not reduced, to ensure the imperiled Cook Inlet beluga whale's survival. Fill in the form below to submit your comments and urge the Fisheries Service to expand the designation to include all areas previously identified by the agency as important habitat for the species.

Click here to find out more and take action:


Sample letter:

Subject: RIN 0648-AX50: Protect Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Critical Habitat

I am writing to thank you for proposing to designate more than 3,000 square miles of Cook Inlet as critical habitat for the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale. This imperiled species is currently facing a barrage of threats from oil and gas development, coal mining, pollution, and shipping in Cook Inlet. Protection of habitat is critical to the survival of endangered species. Please finalize the proposed critical habitat and implement a recovery plan as soon as possible to protect this great white whale for future generations. Moreover, please expand the designation to include all areas identified in the conservation plan as important habitat for the species, as well as streams supporting the salmon and other fish upon which the belugas feed. Thank you.


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Please take action by March 2, 2010.

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