Did you know that right now there are 30,000 humpback whales from the Antarctic Ocean heading up along the Western Australian coast to the Kimberley? Yes, there are.
The sea along the Kimberley coast, in a place called Camden Sound just north of Broome, is the nursery for the largest population of humpback whales in the world. This is a very special place, because this is where these whales call home. Baby whales, called calves, are born there, they grow up there, and they return home to the Kimberley every year.
There is something happening to their home and this makes me rather sad. So I thought I should write to you to let you know a bit about this bicycle ride to Broome and why I and a group of friends are cycling all the way from Perth to Broome.
Certain people are planning to build a very large natural gas factory at James Price Point, just a little way north of Broome. We need natural gas for our homes as well as making electricity to run factories both in Australia and overseas. The gas comes from under the seabed north of the Kimberley.
These people plan to bring the gas to James Price Point, where it will then be put into great gas container ships to be sold to countries like Japan and China. To allow large ships to come to James Price Point, these people will dredge the seabed to make it deeper, and they will have to build long jetties for the ships.
The whales do not know that this is happening to their home. The other creatures that live in the sea there, like the Australian snubfin dolphin, the dugong, the many species of sea turtles and fish, do not know that this is happening.
In fact, not many people know about this either.
So I had an idea. I thought that perhaps I should tell as many people as possible. Then if everybody knew, and if everybody felt sad that the home of these whales was in trouble, then we would ask our government to stop this from happening.
This is why I am riding a bicycle all the way up to Broome. I am going to tell as many people as possible. My friends and I are going to take turns to ride the bicycle from Perth all along the coast until we get to Broome. We shall be riding through towns like Cervantes, Geraldton, Carnarvon, Karratha and Port Hedland. We shall be speaking with as many people as possible, as well as talking to radio and television stations.
Our hope is that by doing something as crazy as riding a bicycle covering a distance of 2,400 kilometres, riding all day and all night for 5 days, many people will hear about us.
You know, a wise person once said to me that if there was something I felt strongly about then I should take action. Well you know Joe, I feel strongly about protecting the home of our humpback whales, our snubfin dolphins, our dugongs, and our turtles. These are beautiful creatures and they deserve a safe and peaceful home.
So now, I am going to tell everybody why we should protect their home.
I would like it very much if you would help me by telling as many people as you know about this bicycle ride and about protecting the home of our humpback whales.
And one day, when you are all grown up, perhaps you can show your children what a wonderful home our humpback whales have up in the Kimberley. And this is all because we all took action to protect their home.
From your friend, Paul