In this blog, Ashley Schaffert, a Boston artist and proud new supporter of WDC shares her experiences with us.
When I first saw the Act Right Now Campaign Kit from WDC, I knew I had to have it!
The North Atlantic right whale holds a special place in my heart. Knowing how critically endangered they are, I always try to do my part to help protect them. I remember when I saw the right whale in the wild for the first time. I was working on a whale watch vessel out of Boston. We were just coming through the outer harbor when the boat came to an abrupt halt. When I went into the wheelhouse to see what was happening, I noticed two right whales off the port side of the boat. With all of the regulations and laws for vessels to keep away from right whales, I never thought I would ever get the chance to see one. But when these two whales popped up out of nowhere near our boat, it was a moment I would never forget. It was so unforgettable, that I had those two right whales (Shackleton and Legato) tattooed onto my arm.
The campaign kit is so wonderful to have. I use my water bottle at work everyday. Sometimes people will ask about it, and that allows me to talk about the campaign to people, and educate them on right whales and the importance of their protection. The kit includes post cards for family and friends to sign, to petition the extension of the Ship Strike Rule and expand on the critical habitat. The kit also includes a tote bag that comes in handy for storage or carrying things on the go. I am an artist, so recently I have been keeping pencils, paint and paintbrushes for nice days when I like to sketch or paint outside.
It is such a great feeling to get involved in a campaign like this. Everyone has that one thing in life they are super passionate about. For me that passion is whales and marine wildlife. The North Atlantic Right Whale is such a special species. Although their populations have been on the slight rebound, they still remain one of the most critically endangered species, with fewer than 500 left on Earth. For an urban species that battles through more ship strikes, noise pollution and stress than other species of whales, you want to see them thrive. Right whales are like the underdog athletes. Through Act Right Now, we become “proud parents” or “cheerleaders” and keep fighting to protect them, because we want to see them come out on top. We want to see this species to outlive us for many generations.
I really want a happy ending for the North Atlantic right whale.