(Newsweek) The number of whales spotted in the waters off New York City has increased by 540 percent in the last eight years, according to researchers.
In 2010, experts from non-profit Gotham Whale identified just five whales in local waters across the whole year. However, in 2018, the number of sightings jumped to a staggering 272, the vast majority being humpbacks, Patch reported.
The non-profit says that the recent spike in whale sightings is the result of several successful environmental policies—including the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act—as well as a decrease in pollution in the Hudson River.
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"So the Hudson River, instead of bringing out pollution to the areas we see whales—the lower estuary and the area right outside the mouth of the Hudson—it's bringing nutrients," Paul Sieswerda, founder of Gotham Whale, told Patch.