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Handling Hurricane Harvey
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Harvey: More Devastating Due to Climate Change

It's painful to see the suffering wrought by Harvey in Texas and beyond. Our hearts go out to everyone in the path of this catastrophe.

Amid the tragedy we must talk clearly about how climate change made this storm worse. As top climate scientists pointed out this week, sea-level rise in recent decades means the storm surge was likely about a half-foot higher than it would have been otherwise. Ocean temperatures have also risen, which can increase rainfall and flooding. The bottom line: Global warming is making superstorms like Harvey more destructive. Addressing the climate crisis is essential to reduce the risk of similar devastation in the future.

As meteorologist Eric Holthaus put it, "Harvey is what climate change looks like in a world that has decided, over and over, that it doesn't want to take climate change seriously."

Read Holthaus's spot-on analysis in Politico and then check out this piece by the Center for Biological Diversity's Shaye Wolf on Trump's cancellation of coastal flood protections just before Harvey.

Ignite Change logo

Ignite Change — Join the Grassroots Resistance

These are extraordinary times, and if we're going to save our wildlife and wild places, we have to mount extraordinary resistance.

That's why the Center is launching Ignite Change, a massive, volunteer-driven network to challenge Trump, call out members of Congress, organize and attend rallies, activate locally, and be a powerful, visible, sustained voice for the planet.

This is the single-largest grassroots project the Center has ever undertaken — and we need you to make it successful.

Take a moment today to join Ignite Change, and our team of trained activists will be back in touch quickly with the next steps.

You Did It: Wolves Won't Be Baited in Idaho


Thanks to all of you who spoke out against cruel treatment of Idaho wolves, the state's Fish and Game Commission has decided not to approve a recent proposal to allow baiting of these persecuted predators.

The state commission said 96 percent of the public weighed in against baiting, including 66 percent of Idahoans.

Had the commission voted otherwise, Idaho would've become the only state to allow the vicious and unsportsmanlike practice, which involves setting out bait to lure wolves to be killed. Read more.

Yellowstone grizzly bear family

Suit Filed to Restore Yellowstone Grizzlies' Protection

Federal protection for the Yellowstone area's grizzly bears was stripped away by the Trump administration in June — so on Wednesday the Center and allies filed suit to get it back.

Along with tribal and conservation partners, we challenged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision enabling Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to move ahead with plans for trophy hunting of the great bears, which came despite a recent increase in bear deaths.

"Facing ongoing threats and living in less than 5 percent of their historic range, grizzly bears are nowhere near recovery and continue to need the strong protections of the Endangered Species Act," said Andrea Santarsiere, a Center attorney in Idaho.

Read more in our press release and this investigation from The Revelator.

Band-rumped storm petrel

Suit Filed to Save Seabirds From Deadly Light Pollution

The Center and allies, represented by Earthjustice, have sued the Hawaii Department of Transportation over the deaths and injuries of seabirds due to state facilities' bright lighting.

The glaring lights of airports and harbors on Kauai, Maui and Lānai disorient the birds so they circle until they fall to the ground, exhausted, or crash into buildings. The lights are a prime threat to Hawaiian petrels, band-rumped storm petrels and Newell's shearwaters, which recently declined by 94 percent on Kauai. Since the Endangered Species Act protects the birds, it's illegal to kill or harm them.

"The department needs to do right by these amazing animals," said Center attorney Brian Segee. "Their deaths were preventable."

Read more in MauiTime Weekly.

Join the Beat Food Waste Challenge

Plate of chard

Forty percent of the food produced in the United States is thrown away. When we waste food, we also waste all the resources that went into the production of that food. And because agriculture is so destructive to wildlife habitat, wasting food means wasting wildlife.

That's why the Center is kicking off our Beat Food Waste challenge to reduce household food waste by 50 percent. Join now, and starting Sept. 5 we'll send you waste-prevention tips over 90 days. Together we can take a bite out of food waste.

In Memoriam: Elephant Advocate Wayne Lotter

Wayne Lotter

Elephant lovers around the globe are mourning the loss of Wayne Lotter. Director and cofounder of PAMS Foundation, Lotter played an integral role in combatting the ivory poaching crisis in Tanzania.

Lotter was well known for his sense of humor and assistance with taking down poachers, including the infamous "ivory queen," accused of smuggling more than 700 tusks. Lotter, 51, was shot and killed earlier this month after his cab in Dar es Salaam was stopped en route from the airport. The incident remains under investigation. Lotter's wife and daughters could use our support.

Pup of Oregon wolf OR-7

Speak Up for Oregon's Wolves — Take Action

Oregon's wolves are once again in the crosshairs and need your help.

In August the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife killed four wolves in the Harl Butte pack for conflicts with livestock, even after admitting that killing the first two didn't change the pack's behavior. Adding to the insanity, the department announced last week it would start killing members of the Meacham pack for similar conflicts — despite the fact that studies have shown killing wolves can actually make things worse.

Please call Gov. Kate Brown right now at (503) 378-4582. Tell her to use her leadership to get the state's wolf plan updated and focused on nonlethal tools. You can use this sample script and then let us know you called.

Red snapper

Win Against Illegal Fishing, Mislabeled Seafood

A victory in our fight against illegal fishing: This week a federal judge upheld the U.S. government's rule requiring seafood importers to document what kind of fish they bring in, where it was caught and whether it was farmed.

The rule, which goes into effect next year, strikes a blow against illicit fishing and seafood fraud, which can have a devastating effect on marine environments. Seafood companies challenged the rule earlier this year; the Center and allies filed legal briefs in support of the change.

"Massive fishing operations working totally outside the law are rampant on the high seas and in foreign waters," said the Center's Miyoko Sakashita. "This rule helps ensure that American consumers aren't supporting such deplorable fishing practices."

Read more in our press release.

Ocean floor with glass sponges

Wild & Weird: 'Forest of the Weird' National Monument

Earlier this summer researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration discovered an alien-like landscape of glass sponges at a depth of 7,700 feet, near Hawaii in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.

One researcher equated the experience with finding life on another planet.

Sadly, the monument is under attack by the Trump administration as part of a "review" of national monuments.

Take a look at this stunning footage of the Forest of the Weird on Facebook or YouTube.

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Photo credits: Hurricane Harvey courtesy NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Ignite Change logo courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; wolf by judepics/Flickr; Yellowstone grizzly bear family by Jim Peaco/Yellowstone National Park; band-rumped storm petrel courtesy Brett Hartl; plate of chard by jorgezapico/Flickr; Wayne Lotter; pup of Oregon wolf OR-7 courtesy USFWS; red snapper by saspotato/Flickr; ocean floor in Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument courtesy NOAA.

Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 710
Tucson, AZ 85702