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Action Timeline

April 20, 2010 – The Center filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect 404 Southeast aquatic species as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.

September 13, 2010 – The Center sued the Service over delays in protecting three southeastern mussels — the Georgia pigtoe, interrupted rocksnail and rough hornsnail.

October 6, 2010 – The Fish and Wildlife Service announced a proposal to protect the Altamaha spinymussel, which had been on the candidate list for 26 years and which the Center petitioned to protect through our Candidate Project.

November 1, 2010 – The Service protected the Georgia pigtoe mussel, interrupted rocksnail and rough hornsnail as endangered under the Endangered Species Act and protected 160 miles of their river habitat in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.

February 2011 – In response to our petition, the National Marine Fisheries Service declared it would not protect the rare Alabama shad.

April 21, 2011 – The Center and five southeastern conservation groups filed a formal notice of intent to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to protect 403 Southeast freshwater species we petitioned for in 2010.

April 28, 2011 – The Center filed a notice of intent to sue the Fisheries Service for its decision not to protect the Alabama shad.

July 12, 2011 – The Center reached a landmark agreement with the Fish and Wildlife Service that, if approved, would require the agency to move forward in the protection process for 757 species, including all 403 Southeast species.

August 8, 2011 – The Service protected five southeastern fish species as endangered under the Endangered Species Act: the Cumberland darter, chucky madtom, laurel dace, rush darter and yellowcheek darter.

September 9, 2011 – A federal judge approved the landmark 757 species legal agreement between the Center for Biological Diversity and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

September 26, 2011 – In response to our 2010 petition and 2011 notice of intent to sue for more than 400 Southeast species, the Service found that protection of 374 freshwater species in 12 southeastern states may be warranted under the Endangered Species Act.

October 3, 2011 – The Service proposed to protect eight species of freshwater mussels in Alabama and Florida and proposed to designate nearly 1,500 miles of streams and rivers as critical habitat for the species. The eight proposed mussels were included in our 757 species legal settlement.

October 5, 2011 – The Service issued a final rule listing the Ozark hellbender as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act as part of our 757 species agreement. 

October 7, 2011 – Also as the result of our agreement, the Service designated the Altamaha spinymussel as endangered and proposed to protect 148 river miles of critical habitat.

March 12, 2012 – In accordance with its landmark settlement 757-species settlement agreement with the Center, the Service protected two colorfully named mussel species, the sheepnose and the spectaclecase, under the Endangered Species Act. Both mussels were once common across the eastern United States but are now found in only a handful of rivers. 

July 24, 2012 – The Center filed a notice of intent to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service for failure to protect the Obey crayfish under the Endangered Species Act.

October 3 Service proposed Endangered Species Act protection the slabside pearlymussel and fluted kidneyshell in the Tennessee River watershed, including the proposed designation of 1,380 river miles of critical habitat in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia.

October 9, 2012 – The Service extended Endangered Species Act protection to eight species of freshwater mussels and 1,494 miles of stream in Alabama and Florida, following our 757 agreement.

December 20, 2012 – The Centter and allies filed a formal notice of intent to sue the Tennessee Valley Authority for forcing the closure of a rearing facility for endangered fish and mussels at the Gallatin Fossil Plant — called the Cumberland River Aquatic Center — to make way for the controversial construction of coal combustion equipment and a series of 15-story-tall coal-ash dumps.

September 25, 2013 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized Endangered Species Act protection for two species of freshwater mussels in the Tennessee River watershed, including 1,380 river miles of critical habitat in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia. The decisions to protect the slabside pearlymussel and fluted kidneyshell result from our 2011 757 species settlement.

January 8, 2014  The Center filed a petition with the Service seeking Endangered Species Act protection for the wingtail crayfish, a tiny resident of the Panhandle. The wingtail crayfish is a 2-inch, tan crustacean with red spots that is found in Gulf County and nowhere else on Earth.

Trispot darter photo © Bernard Kuhajda