This week, the Natural Resources Defense Council launched a petition drive asking President Obama to protect whales from deadly sonar and explosives. It’s action the world’s marine mammals desperately need. At home, the Navy is engaged in exercises that...continued→
Zak Smith, Attorney, Marine Mammal Protection Project, Santa Monica
I grew up in two areas that have a lot in common but couldn’t be more different: Whitefish, Montana, and Yucca Valley, California. Whitefish is a small town, nestled in the northwest corner of Montana, next to Glacier National Park. It sits on a beautiful lake at the base of Big Mountain Ski Resort. I spent my teenage years in another small town, Yucca Valley, at the southern border of the Mojave Desert, next to Joshua Tree National Park. While both towns are small and rural, next to beautiful national parks, their environments are stark contrasts – forested mountains with rivers and streams in Montana and cactus-filled valleys and arroyos in southern California.
College (UC Berkeley – Go Bears!), grad school (Johns Hopkins), and law school (UCLA) brought me to urban environments, where I explored history, international economics, and environmental law. Along the way, I found my way to NRDC and enjoy working on issues that make a difference, from saving endangered wildlife and wild places, keeping all of our footprints (not only carbon) as small as possible, and being smart about our limited resources. I do my part by working to protect whales and dolphins from dangerous noise pollution (including sonar) and polar bears from extinction.
The Navy’s day-to-day training activities wreak havoc on the marine life unfortunate enough to be nearby. This is doubly true for their war games. And now, whales and dolphins may not be the only mammals impacted, as the latest...continued→
We've Waited Long Enough: The US Must Act to Save Whales and Dolphins from Dying in Foreign Fishing Gear
Each year, more than 650,000 whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals are caught or seriously injured in fishing gear around the world. Entangled in nets, wrapped in fishing lines, or snagged on fishing hooks, these animals either drown or...continued→
Last week, Norway submitted a proposal to give polar bears greater protection through the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (known as “CMS”). If the members to the convention accept Norway’s proposal at their 11th...continued→
Last week I was in Veracruz Mexico for an Animals Committee meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)—the international organization tasked with managing trade in endangered species. At the meeting, the Animals Committee decided to open...continued→
This Week in Whales: Monday Victory for Anti-Whaling in the Antarctic; Tuesday Sanctions Against Iceland for Whaling; Wednesday US Navy Implicated in Mass Stranding of Whales in Greece; Thursday Noise Guidelines for Shipping Industry; What a Week!
The best way to start a week is with a victory—on Monday, the ICJ ruled that Japan’s whaling program in the Antarctic is illegal. Despite the ICJ’s lack of enforcement power, Japan has already indicated that it will abide...continued→
This Week in Whales: Video of Conflict Between Sea Shepherd and Japanese Whalers; Manitoba May Protect Belugas from Shipping; Dolphin Megapod Migration Filmed by Drone...
Video has been released of the frightening run-in last week between crew members aboard a Sea Shepherd ship and two Japanese whaling vessels. The confrontation comes as Japan’s whaling season draws to a close and just weeks before the...continued→
This Week in Whales: Sea Shepard Toes Off Against Japanese Whaling Fleet, Killer Whales Peacefully Surround Kayaker, Romanian Politician Proposes Equal Rights for Dolphins...
Two Japanese harpoon ships spent hours aggressively intimidating a crew of conservationists earlier this week. This is a repeat offense by Japanese whalers, one of which I mentioned in a post at the beginning of the month. The Sea...continued→
This Week in Whales: Another Mass Dolphin Die-Off in Peru; Ice Age Was Bad for Killer Whales; Sea Shepherd Proclaims 2014 Best Year Ever...
Around 400 dolphins washed up dead on Peruvian beaches last month—officials are conducting necropsies, but the cause of death remains unconfirmed. A similar mass stranding occurred in Peru in 2012, with over 800 dolphins washing up in the north...continued→
This Week in Whales: Oh Snap! NRDC Takes NMFS and the Navy to Court; Japan Still Embracing Tradition of Killing Dolphins; New Amazonian River Dolphin...
On Monday, NRDC filed suit challenging the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Navy for their authorization of Navy training and testing activities over the next five years in Southern California and Hawaii. The Navy is authorized to inflict about...continued→
Last week, NRDC released a report on how whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals are killed or seriously injured around the world after getting entangled, trapped, or hooked in commercial fishing gear, Net Loss: The Killing of Marine Mammals...continued→
Researchers estimate that around the world more than 650,000 whales, dolphins, sea lions, and other marine mammals are killed or seriously injured every year after getting trapped, entangled, or hooked in commercial fishing gear. While U.S. fishers and foreign fishers...continued→
The federal government has given the U.S. Navy the final green light to inflict millions of instances of harm on marine mammals in Southern California and Hawaii over the next five years, including thousands of instances of permanent injury...continued→
This Week in Whales: Pilot Whale Stranding in Florida Everglades; Mass Dolphin Die-Off on East Coast Continues; New Zealand Shafts Maui's Dolphins; Obama Administration Does Something Good...
Eleven short-finned pilot whales have died after stranding in the shallow waters of the Florida Everglades—necropsies showed that they were emaciated and suffering from malnutrition. Pilot whale pods are notoriously tight-knit—often if one whale gets stranded, the other whales...continued→
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS aka NOAA Fisheries) has announced the finalization of rules governing the Navy’s activities along the east coast and in the Gulf of Mexico for the next five years. In a Bizzaro-World move, with...continued→
Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.