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Since 2014 we have helped companies reduce the environmental impact of shipping along the coast of California.

Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies monitors the speeds of hundreds of vessels that pass through the VSR zones each year. Utilizing a fleet-based approach, the program assigns recognition levels to participating shipping companies based on the percentage of their vessels that travel at a speed of 10 knots or less. Traveling at this speed has been found to significantly reduce both the risk of fatal whale strikes and harmful air pollution emissions such as smog-forming chemicals and greenhouse gases.

The program runs each year from May to December to coincide with peak ozone and whale feeding and migration. The program covers two geographic regions, one along the Southern California coast and one outside the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas.

By verifying voluntary cooperation, calculating environmental benefits, and recognizing program participants, the program helps shipping companies meet the demands of commerce in a more sustainable way.


Explore our current list of participants here.

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Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies is run by a unique partnership of federal and local government agencies, foundations, and environmental nonprofits.

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We work closely with researchers and consultants to independently verify the benefits of the program.

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We are an affiliate of the Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay Program and a 1% for the Planet Environmental Partner.

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