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Latest version of program to slow ships off California coast to reduce pollution called success

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Anthony Lombardi
/
NOAA
The latest version of a program to cut air pollution, and reduce whale strikes by cargo ships by getting them to slow down is being called successful.

Organizers also believe effort reducing fatal whale strikes

Air quality officials say an effort to reduce air pollution, as well as cut the number of whale strikes by cargo ships off the California Coast is having a big impact.

The program calls for participating ships to voluntarily slow down as they pass through the Santa Barbara Channel, and in the Bay Area transit zone.

The shipping lines are offered compensation for the time lost to the vessels being slowed, but six of them declined their payments to allow the expansion of the effort.

Results have just been released for the 2021 version of the seven year old program. They show that the pollution reduction is the equivalent of taking nearly 4700 passenger vehicles a year off the road. It’s believed that the slowing also led to a 50% less risk of whale strikes.

The program is a partnership involving a number of air pollution control districts, as well as NOAA.