Evergreen Line: Slowing Down Saves Whales


Evergreen Line has received recognition for its voluntary environmental and ecological protection program that has helped increase the whale population in the Santa Barbara Channel region over the July to November 2017 period.

Slowing ship speeds over the stretch of sea separating mainland California from the northern Channel Islands in the US has proved to reduce the risk of fatal strikes as the numbers of blue, humpback and fin whales have increased.

The initiative started on July 1 last year and ended on November 15 and also aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of vessels and improve air quality within the port community

Vessels enrolled in this program were required to reduce speeds to 12 knots or less within 95 nautical miles of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The result was a reduction of more than 1,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases and 27 tons of the smog-forming air pollutant, nitrogen oxides (NOx).  

Kristi Birney, Marine Conservation Analyst for the Santa Barbara-based Environmental Defense Center, one of the backers of the initiative, said: “When you slow ships down you provide whale conservation and cleaner air for us to breathe here on shore.”

Last month (January 2017), the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach had a joint community workshop to gather input on strategies released late last year to update the Clean Air Action Plan.

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