Originally published in The Stamford Advocate

It’s back to school season and we are reminded to be extra vigilant and slow down in school zones or face fines and jail time.

Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared with a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster, according to the American Automobile Association.

It’s high time the federal government apply this mindset to the North Atlantic Right Whale. Pleasure boats, passenger boats, tour boats and commercial fishing boats refusing to slow down are putting Right Whales on a fast track to extinction.

Fishing gear entanglement from lobster and Jonah crab fishers and strikes by vessels traveling too fast are killing so many North Atlantic Right Whales that about 340 remain, including fewer than 70 breeding females.

Right Whales are at heightened risk for blunt force trauma and laceration injuries from hulls and propellers because they spend a lot of time at or close to the water surface, and they can be very difficult to spot due to their dark color and lack of a dorsal fin.

House Republican members of Congress have the gall to introduce legislation and insert language into the FY2024 budget to prohibit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) from protecting right whales by making sure more more boats slow down.

(Read full piece here.)