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Humpback whale underwater

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Black Sea common dolphins © Elena Gladilina

The dolphin and porpoise casualties of the war in Ukraine

Rare, threatened subspecies of dolphins and porpoises live in the Black Sea along Ukraine's coast....
WDC's Ed Fox, Chris Butler-Stroud and Carla Boreham take a message from the ocean to parliament

Taking a message from the ocean to parliament

It's a sad fact that whales and dolphins don't vote in human elections, but I...
Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Tokitae in captivity

Talking to TUI – will they stop supporting whale and dolphin captivity?

Last Thursday I travelled to Berlin for a long-anticipated meeting with TUI senior executives. I...

Earth Day Q&A with Waipapa Bay Wines’ marketing director, Fran Draper

We've been partnered with Waipapa Bay Wines since 2019 so for this year's Earth Day,...
Orcas at the seabed

The secrets of orca beach life

Rubbing on smooth pebbles is a generations-old cultural tradition for a particular group of orcas...

Right Whales: A Love Story- “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much“

Guest Blog written by Anne Dimonti

With 117 years of experience in environmental protection, the Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s (ASRI) mission has been to protect birds, other wildlife and their habitat through conservation, education and advocacy for the benefit of people and all living things.

When ASRI was formed in 1897, we had only just begun to understand that the earth’s natural resources could be finite.  Most believed that the world around us had a limitless bounty which provided needed resources.  We could not fully comprehend our impact upon the environment.  Today, thanks to modern technology, the world is a much smaller place.  We have a greater knowledge of the world around us and understand that nature’s resources are not boundless. Sadly, many conservation efforts such as those protecting the North Atlantic right whale, have faced great difficulties and have managed only marginal improvements over time.  Many feel this is a result of lack of understanding by the general public of marine threats as well as a gap in communication among the various stakeholders: NGOs, industry leaders, funders, government agencies and researchers.

 Many people are often surprised that a “birding organization”, like ASRI, would be interested in matters regarding marine species.  However, ASRI is more than just “for the birds”.

No species lives in a vacuum; threats affecting one species often have a domino effect on the rest of the ecosystem including human beings.

Therefore, because of the significance of the North Atlantic right whale as an indicator species to the health of the world’s oceans, ASRI advocates for the protection of this species and other marine species affected by environmental threats. Recognizing the value of combining institutional strengths, ASRI works with the various stakeholders, as mentioned above, in an effort to bridge the gap between awareness of and solutions to marine threats such as competition for natural resources and habitat destruction.

 In July 2000, ASRI opened the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Bristol, Rhode Island.  The Center features exhibits and educational programs based on Rhode Island wildlife, habitats and conservation efforts.  The cornerstone exhibit of the Center is a life-size model of a 33ft North Atlantic Right whale.  ASRI staff and volunteers use this exhibit, and the latest information from the scientific community, to educate the general public about North Atlantic right whales and the threats they face.

 The goal is not only to educate people but also to empower them with opportunities to put their newfound knowledge into action that makes a difference. ASRI staff and volunteers illustrate that it is often the small things that make a big difference, such as keeping trash out of the environment.   For example, in August 2014, a Sei whale was found dead along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Upon investigation of the animal’s body, scientists discovered the whale’s stomach had been lacerated by a broken piece of a DVD case which the whale had swallowed.  This simple, small piece of trash was determined to be the underlying cause of the whale’s death. Most of us would not think that something so small could make such a huge impact on the environment. 

Knowledge is power but one person or organization cannot do much alone.  Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”.  By working together and understanding how our past and present use of the world’s oceans affects marine species like the North Atlantic right whale, we can find a balance between the human need for the earth’s many valuable natural resources and preservation of wildlife and the ecosystem for future generations.  

With 117 years of experience in environmental protection, the Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s (ASRI) mission has been to protect birds, other wildlife and their habitat through conservation, education and advocacy for the benefit of people and all living things.

When ASRI was formed in 1897, we had only just begun to understand that the earth’s natural resources could be finite.  Most believed that the world around us had a limitless bounty which provided needed resources.  We could not fully comprehend our impact upon the environment.  Today, thanks to modern technology, the world is a much smaller place.  We have a greater knowledge of the world around us and understand that nature’s resources are not boundless. Sadly, many conservation efforts such as those protecting the North Atlantic right whale, have faced great difficulties and have managed only marginal improvements over time.  Many feel this is a result of lack of understanding by the general public of marine threats as well as a gap in communication among the various stakeholders: NGOs, industry leaders, funders, government agencies and researchers.

 Many people are often surprised that a “birding organization”, like ASRI, would be interested in matters regarding marine species.  However, ASRI is more than just “for the birds”.

No species lives in a vacuum; threats affecting one species often have a domino effect on the rest of the ecosystem including human beings.

Therefore, because of the significance of the North Atlantic right whale as an indicator species to the health of the world’s oceans, ASRI advocates for the protection of this species and other marine species affected by environmental threats. Recognizing the value of combining institutional strengths, ASRI works with the various stakeholders, as mentioned above, in an effort to bridge the gap between awareness of and solutions to marine threats such as competition for natural resources and habitat destruction.

 In July 2000, ASRI opened the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Bristol, Rhode Island.  The Center features exhibits and educational programs based on Rhode Island wildlife, habitats and conservation efforts.  The cornerstone exhibit of the Center is a life-size model of a 33ft North Atlantic Right whale.  ASRI staff and volunteers use this exhibit, and the latest information from the scientific community, to educate the general public about North Atlantic right whales and the threats they face.

 The goal is not only to educate people but also to empower them with opportunities to put their newfound knowledge into action that makes a difference. ASRI staff and volunteers illustrate that it is often the small things that make a big difference, such as keeping trash out of the environment.   For example, in August 2014, a Sei whale was found dead along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Upon investigation of the animal’s body, scientists discovered the whale’s stomach had been lacerated by a broken piece of a DVD case which the whale had swallowed.  This simple, small piece of trash was determined to be the underlying cause of the whale’s death. Most of us would not think that something so small could make such a huge impact on the environment. 

Knowledge is power but one person or organization cannot do much alone.  Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”.  By working together and understanding how our past and present use of the world’s oceans affects marine species like the North Atlantic right whale, we can find a balance between the human need for the earth’s many valuable natural resources and preservation of wildlife and the ecosystem for future generations.  

With 117 years of experience in environmental protection, the Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s (ASRI) mission has been to protect birds, other wildlife and their habitat through conservation, education and advocacy for the benefit of people and all living things.

When ASRI was formed in 1897, we had only just begun to understand that the earth’s natural resources could be finite.  Most believed that the world around us had a limitless bounty which provided needed resources.  We could not fully comprehend our impact upon the environment.  Today, thanks to modern technology, the world is a much smaller place.  We have a greater knowledge of the world around us and understand that nature’s resources are not boundless. Sadly, many conservation efforts such as those protecting the North Atlantic right whale, have faced great difficulties and have managed only marginal improvements over time.  Many feel this is a result of lack of understanding by the general public of marine threats as well as a gap in communication among the various stakeholders: NGOs, industry leaders, funders, government agencies and researchers.

 Many people are often surprised that a “birding organization”, like ASRI, would be interested in matters regarding marine species.  However, ASRI is more than just “for the birds”.

No species lives in a vacuum; threats affecting one species often have a domino effect on the rest of the ecosystem including human beings.

Therefore, because of the significance of the North Atlantic right whale as an indicator species to the health of the world’s oceans, ASRI advocates for the protection of this species and other marine species affected by environmental threats. Recognizing the value of combining institutional strengths, ASRI works with the various stakeholders, as mentioned above, in an effort to bridge the gap between awareness of and solutions to marine threats such as competition for natural resources and habitat destruction.

 In July 2000, ASRI opened the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Bristol, Rhode Island.  The Center features exhibits and educational programs based on Rhode Island wildlife, habitats and conservation efforts.  The cornerstone exhibit of the Center is a life-size model of a 33ft North Atlantic Right whale.  ASRI staff and volunteers use this exhibit, and the latest information from the scientific community, to educate the general public about North Atlantic right whales and the threats they face.

 The goal is not only to educate people but also to empower them with opportunities to put their newfound knowledge into action that makes a difference. ASRI staff and volunteers illustrate that it is often the small things that make a big difference, such as keeping trash out of the environment.   For example, in August 2014, a Sei whale was found dead along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Upon investigation of the animal’s body, scientists discovered the whale’s stomach had been lacerated by a broken piece of a DVD case which the whale had swallowed.  This simple, small piece of trash was determined to be the underlying cause of the whale’s death. Most of us would not think that something so small could make such a huge impact on the environment. 

Knowledge is power but one person or organization cannot do much alone.  Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”.  By working together and understanding how our past and present use of the world’s oceans affects marine species like the North Atlantic right whale, we can find a balance between the human need for the earth’s many valuable natural resources and preservation of wildlife and the ecosystem for future generations.  

Anne Dimonti is the Director of the Environmental Education Center at the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and has been a long-time collaborator with the WDC North American Office and a friend we are truly thankful for!

WDC is grateful to our guest bloggers and value their contributions to whale conservation. The views and opinions expressed by our guest bloggers are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of, and should not be attributed to, WDC.