As threats mount against our oceans and coasts, New Haven was visited by Echo the Whale, a 15-foot blow up sperm whale. Like many other endangered marine species, whales rely on us to protect them from oil and gas exploration, drilling and other threats. This reminder couldn’t be more timely as Congress considers a bill that would dramatically expand offshore drilling, and as the Trump administration begins the process to lift the protections that prevent drilling off the Atlantic Coast. Environment Connecticut, joined by State Senator Gary Winfield, Deputy Majority Leader of the Connecticut State Senate, reminded Connecticut residents of the value of our coastline and the need to stand up for our shores and marine life.
Hosted by Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale Restaurant on Long Wharf, the views of New Haven Harbor drove home the point. “We were happy to host Echo,” said Ed Carlona, Manager at Lenny & Joe’s. “Healthy oceans are important to our business and our customers.”
“Long Island Sound and the Atlantic are places of wonder and beauty,” said Kelsey Lamp, Oceans Associate with Environment Connecticut. “We need to protect whales like Echo, as well as dolphins, birds and other marine life. We must stand up for New England’s only marine national monument, and prevent offshore drilling and seismic testing in the Atlantic.”
State Senator Winfield emphasized that healthy oceans should be a priority for us all. “Our oceans affect every single one of us. So as the Trump administration attempts to undo decades of work protecting our precious environmental resources, it's important that we speak out against these harmful policies. I stand behind Environment Connecticut and will do everything in my power as a state legislator to support protecting our oceans."
Marine Scientists from Mystic Aquarium highlighted the need to take the health of our oceans seriously. Dr. Tracy Romano, Vice President of Research & Chief Scientist, explained the dangers of noise pollution and seismic surveys for whales and other marine life. Dr. Peter Auster, Senior Research Scientist, spoke about the beauty and scientific importance of the Northeast Canyons & Seamounts Marine National Monument, the Atlantic’s only national marine monument. “This blue park off our coast is host to a diverse ecosystem full of whales, dolphins, and coral. We need to protect this area for scientific discovery and future generations.”
Also out to support our oceans were Bill Lucey, the Long Island Soundkeeper with Connecticut Fund for the Environment and Save the Sound, and a representative from Senator Murphy’s office.
Lamp said Connecticut residents can take action to protect our coast and Echo the whale along with her real life counterparts. “Connecticut residents should speak up for our coasts,” said Lamp, “All of our elected officials need to stand with us to save our shores”.
Pictured from left to right: Dr. Tracy Romano, Dr. Peter Auster, Kelsey Lamp, Bill Lucey, State Senator Gary Winfield