Program continues to expand and achieve greater environmental benefits The partners in an initiative to cut air pollution and protect endangered whales announced results from the 2019 program and recognized the 15 shipping companies that participated, reducing speeds to 10 knots or less in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Santa Barbara Channel region. The voluntary incentive program ran May 15, 2019 through November 15, 2019. Partners hope to further recognize the companies at a ceremony at the Port of Hueneme later this year, depending on public health guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Shipping companies receive recognition and financial awards based on the percent of distance traveled by their vessels through the Vessel Speed Reduction (VSR) zones at 10 knots or less and with an average speed of 12 knots or less. (The average baseline speed of participating ships prior to the incentive program is approximately 15 knots in the VSR zones.) The 10-knot target follows the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) requests for all vessels (300 gross tons or larger) to slow down during the months of peak endangered blue, humpback, and fin whale abundance to protect these whales from deadly ship strikes. NOAA has identified […]

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