Save the California Gray Whale


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

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

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




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