Archive for January, 2009

Save the California Gray Whale

January 29, 2009

 

Sue Arnold CEO of the California Gray Whale Coalition and Coordinator of Australians for Animals writes the following from the AFA November newsletter. Sue is currently in the USA campaigning to save the California Gray Whale.

www.australiansforanimals.org.au

info@californiagraywhalecoaltion.org

“Are there Gray Whales in Australia?” A question our
Coordinator was often asked. Gov. Schwarzenegger, aka the
Terminator, is a Republican. But he’s no ordinary Republican,
many Americans think he’s the greenest Governor in the entire
United States. Staff in his office are also very supportive of the
Coalition and say the Governor would almost certainly take part
in any major event we hold for the Gray Whale.

Although it has been incredibly difficult to lobby the California
Assembly and Senate as an Australian, there seems to be an
advantage in many respects. Not holding any Party
affiliations helps. Because the Gray Whale is so controversial
–the greatest threats to its existence being the oil and gas
industry and the Makah Native American Indian tribe’s efforts
to begin killing these whales, many US conservation groups
refuse to campaign to save the Gray Whales.

 

Rick 008

 

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Save the California Gray Whale

January 29, 2009

Sue Arnold Coordinator for Australians for Animals and CEO of the California Gray Whale Coalition is currently in the USA campaigning for the California Gray Whale.

The information below is taken from the November issue of the Australians for Animals newsletter.

www.australiansforanimals.org.au

info@californiagraywhalecoaltion.org

 

 

CRITICAL MEETINGS WITH LEADING US
POLITICIANS

With meetings set up with staffers from the offices of
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democrat
Senators Boxer, Feinstein and the Speaker of the US Congress,
Nancy Pelosi, the charity had some optimism. Senator
Barbara Boxer is very influential, she is Chairperson of
the Senate Committee on the Environment and a very
powerful Senator with a long history of support for whale
conservation.

Her staffers were very supportive and indicated the
willingness of the Senator to follow through with the
campaign. Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker of the House, is the third
most important politician in the country, her staff couldn’t have
been more helpful giving strategy ideas and pledging help.

It was difficult getting past the security to her office as an Aussie

and there was a moment when the Deputy Director
almost gasped in astonishment when  she realised our
Coordinator was Australian.

 

Yes We Can! Save the California Gray Whale. Join the Fan Club today.

 

info@californiagraywhalecoaltion.org

 

 

 

 

Rick 009

 

Save the California Gray Whale

January 28, 2009

 

Sue Arnold CEO of the California Gray Whale Coalition and Coordinator of Australians for Animals writes the following blog from the USA while campaigning to save the California Gray Whale.

www.australiansforanimals.org.au

info@californiagraywhalecoaltion.org

Its a nice feeling to arrive in San Francisco and see that President Obama
is moving fast on climate change.  The winds of progress are definitely
blowing in the US and the environment is coming up for airing at last.
Gray whale work is as always, fascinating.   A group of Coalition members
have a meeting with a Californian congress member on Monday, a key meeting
which will be critically important in the journey to relisting the Gray
Whale under the US Endangered Species Act.

So far no word as to how the migration is going and whether there are more
or less whales than last year.   At this time, the migration is usually
led by heavily pregnant whales, some with newborn young born along the way
to Baja, Mexico.   They’re followed by the juveniles and finally the
males.   On their way to Mexico the whales don’t spend much time playing
but are focused on their journey.     When they blow ( which they do
often) and if you’re in seeing distance, its a heart shape blow which
glistens rainbow colours in the sunlight.

ON the way back, the journey is far more hazardous with newborn calves
swimming close to their mother’s side as the whales sneak through the kelp
beds close to shore trying to avoid packs of transient Orcas who can tear
a mother whale and her calf to pieces.  Life in the ocean isn’t a bed of
roses, the predator prey relationship can be as heartbreaking to witness
as the violence of war.   The reality of planet earth is violence and
peace, Nature provides that lesson every day.

 

the kiss

 

Save the California Gray Whale

January 27, 2009

Sue Arnold, Coordinator for Australians for Animals (www.australiansforanimals.org.au) and CEO of the California Gray Whale Coalition

(www.californiagraywhalecoalition.org) wrote the following in the November edition of the AFA newsletter.

 

Having got an h i s t o r i c Resolution through t h e
California Assembly and Senate which called on the US
Congress to take steps to relist the Gray Whale, we now had to
get the support of influential Californian Federal Senators.

A most inappropriate time to be lobbying in many respects. But
miracles abound even in hectic pre-election times with the
global financial system collapsing. The possibility of
getting meetings with key California Federal Senators
staffers to meet with an Australian activist seemed
remote. And organising these meetings from Australia even
more impossible. But these days, the internet makes it
possible to work around the world from your office desk no
matter where you are ! And nagging always works. No
matter what country.

 

Yes We Can! Save the California Gray Whale.

Join the Fan Club today –

info@californiagraywhalecoaltion.org

 

two at the boat

 

 

 

 

Save the California Gray Whale

January 25, 2009

 

Sue Arnold CEO of the California Gray Whale Coalition continues her blog while traveling to the USA and Mexico working towards a successful campaign of saving the California Gray Whale.

My journey across the Pacific is nothing in comparison to the journey
which the Gray whale must undertake.  Its the longest migration of any
Baleen whale on Planet Earth, up and down through the heaviest
industrialised countries of the US, Mexico and Canada.  

Not to mention the enormous amount of Industrialisation on the Siberian side which is
home to a primary Gray whale feeding ground.  With no environmental laws
to protect marine mammals, the Gray whales are contaminated by the huge
toxic waste spewing into the rivers which empty into the Chukotka Sea.
Stinky whales are a major problem in the Russian waters. 

I will detail some of the contaminants later, but there’s grave suspicion that whales in
US and Mexican waters are also contaminated.

What happens to the whales will eventually impact on all of us.

Yes We can! Save the California Gray Whale.

Join the Fan Club today –

info@californiagraywhalecoaltion.org

upside down

 

 

 

 

Save the California Gray Whale

January 24, 2009

The following is taken from the Australians for Animals (www.australiansforanimals.org.au) newsletter, November 2008. Coordinator Sue Arnold writes –

 

On the agenda, finding out whatever we could about the secret IWC meeting in Tampa,
Florida where AFA had good intelligence that the US was trying to negotiate a deal with the
Japanese – a last act by Pres. Bush to appease the Japanese Government and sell- out the
whales.

The last 8 years of the Bush Administration has seen an extremely disturbing change in
the US whale conservation policy as America transformed into a weak middle of the road
IWC member, abandoning its role as the world’s whale protector. And, as always, the
next step in the historic C a l i f o r n i a  Gr a y  Wh a l e Coalition campaign created by
AFA, to have the Gray Whales  r e l i s t e d  u n d e r  t h e  US Endangered Species Act had to
be undertaken.

 

Join the coalition today –

info@californiagraywhalecoaltion.org

 

Yes We Can! Save the California Gray Whale

 

whale eighteen

 

 

 

 

Save the California Gray Whale

January 23, 2009

 

From  Sue Arnold, CEO California Gray Whale Coalition.

Today, January 23, 2009, three days after the inauguration of Barack Obama
as President, I set out on my journey to the great desert wilderness of Baja
California, Mexico. 

To the birthing lagoons of the majestic Gray whale
where she delivers her calf and teaches the youngster skills for surviving
the long journey back to the waters and feeding grounds of the Arctic.

I’m headed for the San Ignacio Laguna, one of the most sacred places on
earth.  A massive lagoon surrounded by mountains which reach to the sky,
nature’s cathedral.  The sacredness and beauty of this desert wilderness is
recognized by the listing of the Vizcaino Reserve as a World Heritage site.
Last year when I was there, whale numbers were drastically reduced.  

Later on, I found out it was the lowest count of gray whales since counting began
30 years ago.  Few calves, little mating, and many skinny whales.

Yet still these incredible creatures came to the tiny boats which took us
out to the lagoon, allowing us to touch and stroke their bodies.  To caress
their calves with their long hairy chins !  This is the only whale on earth
that allows such contact.   When I remember she is the most ancient Baleen
whale alive on Planet Earth today, I’m humbled by the blessing of
connection.

This year, we are holding our collective breath.   With climate change
rapidly increasing seawater temperatures, the primary prey of the Gray
whales in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas – benthos – is severely
impacted.   

Without the rich feeding beds which sustain the whales long
period of starvation as they migrate to Mexico, the whales are in trouble.
These are specialist feeders who scoop great mouthfuls of sediment and
bottom dwelling amphipods which they sift through their baleen plates.
Stay with me on my journey.  

The first stop is Honolulu where I will meet
with one of our international advisors, a professor of international law
teaching at the University of Hawaii.

Blessings to the Gray Whale and all Whales and Dolphins.

whale seventeen

 

 

Save the California Gray Whale

January 22, 2009

The following is taken from the ‘Australian for Animals’ Newsletter dated November 2008. Australian for Animals Coordinator Sue Arnold writes –

 

Dear Friends,

With the US elections looming, and the absolute necessity of
getting the Democrat Party led by Senator Barack Obama onside for whales, our Coordinator
flew to San Francisco in September.

AFA MAKES PROGRESS IN THE USA. side for whales, our Coordinator
flew to San Francisco in September.

On the agenda, finding out whatever we could about the
secret IWC meeting in Tampa, Florida where AFA had good
intelligence that the US was trying to negotiate a deal with the
Japanese – a last act by Pres. Bush to appease the Japanese
Government and sell- out the whales.

 

Will continue …

 

Please visit www.australiansforanimals.org.au or

info@californiagraywhalecoaltion.org and join the Fan Club.

 

Yes We Can! Save the California Gray Whale

yearling

 

 

 

 

Save the California Gray Whale

January 22, 2009

 

Yes we can

 

Best Gray Whale Shots 011

 

 

Save the California Gray Whale

January 17, 2009

cgwc02

 

big gullett