A program to reduce the number of whales hit by ships, and improve air quality at the same time is preparing to kick off its fourth year of operation.
The program gets ships to voluntarily slow their speed in exchange for cash compensation.
The annual effort started in 2014 in the Santa Barbara Channel, and has since expanded to the San Francisco Bay area. Officials with the program say slowing the speed to around 10 knots accomplishes the task of reducing lethal ship strikes, while cutting pollution coming from the vessels.
This year, there is nearly $300,000 in the program. Plans call for the effort involving nearly a dozen government and non-profit agencies to run from July 1st to November 15th.