Protect whales and asthmatic kids from speeding ships
  • Petitioned James N. Goldstene

This petition was delivered to:

Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board
James N. Goldstene

Protect whales and asthmatic kids from speeding ships

    1. Petition by

      Coalition for Clean Air

What do children with asthma have in common with whales? More than you might think. Along the entire California coastline, they both are threatened by speeding ships, which waste fuel, endanger whales, produce pollution causing our climate crisis, and spew toxic chemicals that harm the health of Californians.

A threat to ocean life
The danger speeding ships pose to marine life is made clear by a recent Los Angeles Times news story: A decapitated humpback whale carcass washed ashore in the port town of San Pedro. A “large 20-foot propeller can easily do a lot of damage to a whale, and in this case did remove the entire head,” according to Diane Alps, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Cetacean Society. “It was likely a very large cargo ship or other large vessel that was making its way south to the port.”

A threat to our families
The exhaust from ships’ large diesel engines is among the most dangerous and pervasive sources of air pollution. In addition to pollution that adds to the climate crisis, the exhaust contains chemicals that contribute to smog and harm our health—including diesel particulate matter, which is known to cause cancer, premature deaths and other health problems.

A solution tied up in red tape
In 2008, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) began working on a vital regulation that would set speed limits for ships along the California coast, slashing harmful air pollution and helping our state meet vital pollution-reduction goals. It would also reduce the risk of speeding ships fatally striking whales.

Time and again, this rule has been delayed. As the port economy rebounds, shipping lanes are again filling up, and cargo traffic is rising. Now is the time for California to control ship speeds to protect our environment and health. Please send ARB a message telling them to re-start their engines on this regulation today!

A strong rule would include:
•  a mandatory speed limit of 10-12 knots 
•  regulation of all ships, not just those destined for a major port 
•  a 40-nautical-mile zone for the entire California coast 


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 5,000 signatures
    2. Blue whales dine in treacherous waters off L.A.'s coast

      Because endangered blue whales increasingly feed near the port of Los Angeles, they are on a collision course with the huge ships making their way through the harbor.

    3. Reached 2,500 signatures
    4. Update from Coalition for Clean Air: Progress toward ship speed regulation

      Thanks to the petition and the coordinated comments, the California Air Resources Board questioned the delay in regulating ship speed, and the staff responsible for researching and drafting the regulation agreed to resume work on it this year.

    5. Reached 1,500 signatures
    6. Reduced Ship Speeds Would Be Win-Win for California Whales and Environment

      As a 50-foot humpback whale headed north to Santa Barbara feeding grounds last month, its migration was cut short by the propellers of a fast-moving ship on its way to the Port of Los Angeles. The whale’s headless carcass washed up on the rocky...

    7. Organizers are looking for 1,000 signatures by June 23rd, when they will present this to the California Air Resources board. Please sign and then share with your friends.

      You can also post on Twitter:

      Will California @AirResources Board put a speed limit on ships? Protect whales and kids by signing here:

    8. Read the LA Times coverage of this subject! "Environmentalists want slower ship speeds to protect whales off the California coast"

    9. Reached 500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Ed Ortiz NEWARK, NJ
      • almost 2 years ago

      As humans (and the dominant species on the planet) we have a moral obligation and responsibility NOT to abuse our position: this is a prime example of animal abuse and immorality. This needs stopped immediately!

    • Victoria Colewood LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM
      • almost 2 years ago

      The decapitation of this beautiful animal which could have lived for decades were it not for human ignorance and stupidity is surely cause for pause and concern? The fact that children are at risk show that lack of care to animal welfare also leads to lack of duty or thought for humanity as well?

    • jeanne serrano SUFFOLK, VA
      • about 2 years ago

      I see tourist boats running over turtles swimming in the water right off Virginia Beach, VA, and they make ZERO attempts to avoid them. Although the size of these cargo ships prohibits avoidance tactics, the necessity of speed restrictions is imperative.

    • R. A. Osborne NEWPORT NEWS, VA
      • about 2 years ago

      ARB, it's time to do the work you're being paid to do. It's up to you to get this done, and fast.

    • sandra ramsey PITTSBURGH, PA
      • about 2 years ago

      Respect the help these animals give.


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