For the first time in 100 years, there is a sizable number of humpback whales visiting New York City.
The reason for the increase in Humpback whales are due to environmental clean up efforts. “Because of the improvement of the water quality, algea and zooplankton have multiplied, giving good food for the menhaden [a small fish that is eaten by whales], which have returned in numbers that the fishermen say they have not seen in their lifetimes,” Gotham Whales founder Paul L. Sieswerda told Pop Science.
New York’s waterway’s were once a dumping ground for everything, including everything from medical waste, to factory run-off. The run off was a primary cause of Cancer according to the EPA. The run off stopped thanks to the 1977 Clean Water Act.
Whale sighting’s have been on the rise this year. The whales are thought to be visiting the harbor for food while they migrate up and down the Eastern seaboard. The whale sightings have become popular that ferry companies are starting to offer whale-watching tours, something that is typically reserved to Long Island.
The telegraph has reported a total of 20 whales were seen all year, one of them including a sighting near the Statue of Liberty. That sighting prompted the Coast Guard to send a warning out to any nearby boats.