No. 26, December 14, 2012
In This Issue:
Got 66 Corals But Population Threatens Each One
The Center for Biological Diversity just scored a huge win for coral reef conservation. The National Marine Fisheries Service, responding to a 2009 scientific petition from the Center, issued a comprehensive report supporting Endangered Species Act protection for no fewer than 66 species of corals.
Most of the press focused on the threat that climate change and ocean acidification pose to corals, but if you like to dive deep (and we do), you'll discover another historic aspect of the decision. The Service has identified population growth as the key survival threat to a marine species.
The government's report said this: "The common root or driver of most, possibly all, of these threats is the number of humans populating the planet and the level of human consumption of natural resources, both of which are increasing in most areas around the globe... The number of humans in proximity to coral reefs is a key predictor of Caribbean reef status and human population distribution is a primary indicator of local threats to coral reefs worldwide."
To join our fight to save corals and protect our oceans, click here.
Florida's Springs at Breaking Point
Before Mickey Mouse, South Beach, Kennedy Space Center and Daytona, Florida was famous for its springs. Juan Ponce de Leon thought he'd found the mythical "fountain of youth" when he first glimpsed the springs' clear, blue waters. Early 19th century industrialists took respite in Florida's springs to cure their ailments, and the state's tourism industry got its start by boosting its springs to cold northern communities.
Today millions of natives and visitors alike beat the heat by swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, bird watching and kayaking in the springs. For many communities in rural parts of the state, springs are major economic drivers and important gathering places. And it's easy to understand the allure: These are cool, exotic paradises whose water is crystal clear, 68 degrees Fahrenheit all year, and nestled in tropical hardwood hammocks. Around each bend visitors may encounter black bears, manatees, alligators, great blue herons, bald eagles or gulf sturgeon. Visit the Springs Fever website to see some great pictures of springs.
Nowhere in the world is there a higher concentration of springs than in Florida. But these magnificent treasures are vanishing and degrading at an alarming rate. Craig Pittman at the Tampa Bay Times just published an article delineating their decline and describing Florida's abject failure to protect them. Developers, water bottlers, agricultural interests, politicians and weak local governments have all played a role. But as the article makes clear, the sunshine state's explosive population growth and inability to manage it are at the core of the problem.
Study: Colorado River Dying a Death of 40 Million Cuts
The Department of the Interior has released a bone-chilling report on the future of the Colorado River. It concludes that rising demand and falling supply will result in the mighty Colorado failing to meet the needs of the 40 million folks who depend on its waters. (In releasing the report, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made one of the more impressive understatements of the year: "We are in a troubling trajectory in the Colorado River basin.")
Within a mere 50 years, the study says, the fabled Colorado that powerfully forged so much of the American West will be unable to meet the needs of a burgeoning human population. The study's recommendations to address the coming crisis include harvesting water from icebergs, tapping a host of other rivers hundreds of miles away, and building more desalination plants.
Or hey, here's an even wackier idea -- what if we just acted rationally and brought our growth under control?
Learn more about the Center's work on the Colorado and other western waters.
Can I Have an Endangered Species Condom With That Egg Nog?
Is any holiday party really complete without a box of our beautifully packaged Endangered Species Condoms? Judging by the extraordinary response to our most recent call for condom distributors, our free condoms are soon to be part and parcel of many year-end celebrations, so make sure you don't stand under that mistletoe without one.
We're on the cusp of distributing another 50,000 Endangered Species Condoms throughout our dedicated population network in all 50 states. Demand, as usual, has far outstripped supply (no pun intended). Thanks to all of you who expressed a desire to distribute condoms. If you're not picked this time, never fear -- there's always Earth Day 2013.
Hasta la victoria,
Population Campaign Director
Center for Biological Diversity | P.O. Box 710, Tucson, AZ 85702-0710
This is an unmonitored email address, please do not reply. To sign up for condoms, click here. If you'd like more information on the Center's overpopulation campaign, visit our website. To make a donation, click here. Specific population-related questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow a few days for a response. To stop receiving Pop X, click here.
This message was sent to .
Pillar coral photo courtesy NOAA.