Every year, ocean-going vessels make thousands of transits in the shipping lanes in the Santa Barbara Channel region and along the California coast. These vessels are a significant source of air pollution and ship strikes on endangered blue, humpback, and fin whales. The Vessel Speed Reduction incentive program is a voluntary program where the District and its partners ask the vessel operators to slow down to a speed of 10 knots or less, which reduces air pollution, fatal strikes on endangered whales, and ocean noise. For more information, please visit www.BlueWhalesBlueSkies.org.
Success of the VSR Program Throughout the Years
For a comparison on how the program has been growing throughout the years, please see the table below.
- May 2023: Board Update on Vessel Speed Reduction Program and Ocean-Going Vessels.
- 2022 Fact Sheet
- Whale Safe website that shows vessel transit and whale data.
- NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary issues additional advisories when whales are present for ALL ships (300 gross registered tons or larger) to reduce speeds to 10 knots or less.