In early January, then-Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill that officially designates April 24 as Right Whale Day in the commonwealth. North Atlantic right whales are a critically endangered species with a dwindling population that feed each winter and early spring in the waters off of Massachusetts. Their existence is threatened by shipping lanes, pollution, fishing/harvesting aquatic resources, and increasing water temperatures. the hope is that heightened public awareness of their plight will bring to light conservation efforts such as programs promoted by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust and encourage individuals to take action to protect the species. Today the New England Aquariumwill host an event featuring lawmakers and community advocates speaking about the importance of protecting the whales.
Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce.