Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions


Source: Newsday

Restore funding for tracking whales

Posted: June 20, 2011
Originally Published: June 16, 2011

Last week we were reminded of the amazing sealife that call our offshore waters home ["Whale likely hit by ship," News, June 10]. The Riverhead Foundation stated the massive finback whale that washed up on our shores was most likely killed by a ship strike.

New York State, along with Cornell University, had embarked on a project to assess the migration pathways of whales off our shores to help avoid just these kinds of deadly ship strikes. Funded for only one year, researchers documented humpbacks, blue, finback and right whales -- some just a few miles from the Statue of Liberty.

Unfortunately, funding for the program was cut. Two more years of research is needed to establish trends and make the initial down payment scientifically worthwhile. New York should act quickly to restart this program. We should enjoy seeing finback whales in our ocean waters, not washed up dead on our shores.

Maureen Dolan Murphy, Farmingdale

Editor's note: The writer is the executive programs manager for the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, an advocacy organization.