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NOAA allocates $82 million to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales

The federal government has invested $82 million into protecting endangered North Atlantic right whales.  – Photo by NOAA

On Monday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that $82 million has been allocated to protect and preserve North Atlantic right whales, according to a press release.

Funding will be used to monitor and model whale activity, reduce collision risks between whales and boats, improve fishing gear to avoid inadvertently trapping whales and strengthen existing regulations, according to the release.

North Atlantic right whales have been facing extinction, with less than 350 remaining, and less than 70 of which are reproduction-capable females.

"The species has experienced a severe population decline that has underscored the urgency to take new and innovative actions for their recovery," Janet Coit, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries, said in the release.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) said he has been advocating for this funding since April due to the deaths of marine animals off the coast of New Jersey, according to a press release.

"I’m going to continue to advocate for real solutions that keep marine mammals safe from vessel strikes, entanglements and marine pollution," he said.

Approximately 20 percent of the funding, $17.2 million, will be used for acoustic monitoring off the coast of New Jersey and other states along the U.S. East Coast.  

The funding is from the Inflation Reduction Act and was announced this week as part of Climate Week in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Commerce. This is the most significant investment in climate and conservation in history, according to the NOAA release.

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