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Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Trump's Offshore Plan Could Cause More Than 5,500 Oil Spills

The Center for Biological Diversity has crunched the numbers: Trump's proposal to dramatically ramp up offshore drilling could lead to 5,571 oil spills dumping 34.4 million gallons of oil into ocean waters off Alaska, the West and East coasts, and the Gulf of Mexico through the span of oil production.

This estimate is more than 10 times what was expected in the worst-case scenario for the offshore leasing plan approved by the Obama administration, which only included leases in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska's Cook Inlet.

"Trump's plan will be a long, oil-soaked nightmare for our coasts and wildlife," said Dr. Abel Valdivia, the Center scientist who conducted the analysis. "No president has ever pushed a drilling plan that would do so much damage along so many American coastlines. It's really astonishing."

Outraged? Join us at a series of hearings and public protests in the coming weeks.

Mexican gray wolves

Lawsuit Filed Over Flawed Mexican Wolf Plan

Wolf advocates including the Center filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the Trump administration's deeply flawed recovery plan for Mexican gray wolves, among North America's most endangered mammals.

The November 2017 plan — which ignored comments from scientists and the public — fails to use the best available science by setting inadequate population goals, cuts off wolves' access to vital recovery habitat, and fails to respond to mounting genetic threats to this special wolf population.

"Mexican wolves are vital to restoring natural balance in the Southwest, but they need a strong, science-based recovery plan," said the Center's Michael Robinson. "Trump's plan would cut wolves off from habitats in the Grand Canyon and southern Rockies and remove protections while they're still imperiled."

Read more in The Hill.

Manta ray

Giant Manta Rays Protected as Threatened

Giant manta rays, beautiful oceangoing fish that can measure up to about 23 feet across, have declined by up to 95 percent in some parts of the Pacific. So the Center supported an ally's petition to protect them under the Endangered Species Act, and this week the National Marine Fisheries Service listed the creatures as threatened under the Act.

Giant manta rays are killed for use in Asian medicine.

"Now the U.S. and our international partners have to take concrete actions to protect them," said the Center's Abel Valdivia. "We've got to move quickly to prevent these gentle giants from being wiped out by overfishing and the unregulated trade of their gills."

Read more in our press release.


Suit Challenges Bulldozers in Alaska's Izembek Refuge

The Trump administration has approved a land swap allowing construction of a road through the heart of one of the world's most precious wildlife refuges — so on Wednesday the Center and allies filed suit to stop it.

The Interior Department wants to exchange up to 500 acres of Alaska's Izembek National Wildlife Refuge for lands owned by the King Cove Corporation, reversing previous administrations' conclusions that building a road would devastate Izembek's world-class wetlands, which support bears, caribou, salmon and millions of migrating birds.

"Izembek is one of the most important wildlife refuges on the planet," said the Center's Randi Spivak. "Impartial experts have repeatedly rejected this destructive project, for good reason."

Read more in our press release.

27 Cities Resolve to Protect California Coasts From Drilling

Coast at Sausalito

Marin, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties just became the latest of 27 California communities to pass resolutions opposing new fossil fuel drilling off the Golden State's coast.

The resolutions respond to the Trump administration's proposal to open the Pacific Ocean to new oil leases for the first time in more than 30 years. The draft five-year offshore leasing plan, released Jan. 4, would subject almost all federal waters to new offshore drilling.

If you're a Californian, sign up to help us #ProtectOurCoasts.

Suit Launched to Save Rare Pacific Island Bird

Tinian monarch

Tinian, a small island in the western Pacific used by the U.S. military since it was seized from Japan in World War II, is also home to a rare flycatcher called the Tinian monarch. The songbird almost went extinct during the war and is once again threatened — this time by Marine Corps plans to expand training in its last forest habitat.

To save the species, the Center just filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Get more from Radio New Zealand.

The Revelator: Tribal Communities Face Climate Change

Alaskan permafrost thawing

Climate change touches everything, but some of its worst impacts are being felt by tribal communities. From the Gulf of Mexico to Arizona to Alaska, tribes in North America are facing disruptions to traditional food sources, upheaval in seasonally based cultural calendars, and relocations of entire communities as rising oceans inundate their lands.

At a national conference in December, tribal representatives gathered to share information on how they're fighting for survival in an era of rapidly changing ecosystems. Debra Utacia Krol reports for The Revelator.

Winter Membership Newsletter Is Here

Member newsletter

The Center's winter print newsletter is now online.

Check out our executive director's rousing letter and a review of 2017 victories and actions that shows how all our programs rose to unprecedented challenges last year. As for our 2018 plans? We won't let up.

We make this members-only newsletter available to online supporters as thanks for taking action — but please consider becoming a member today, helping even more. Just call us toll free at 1-866-357-3349 x 323 or visit our website to learn more and donate.

Snapping turtle

Wild & Weird: Snapping Turtles Caught in a Cold Snap

What happens to snapping turtles when winter cold drops below freezing? Unlike some reptiles and amphibians, they can't survive those temperatures. So they head to the bottom of a pond before its top layer freezes solid.

But how do they breathe when they're trapped below that ice? Weirdly, they don't. Turns out snapping turtles can enter a state of metabolic depression, relying on glycogen and glucose as their only fuel source, in which they can survive without oxygen for months.

Check out our video of snappers under ice on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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Photo credits: California coast by jeffreyputman/Flickr; Mexican gray wolves by mtsofan/Flickr; giant manta ray by G.P. Schmahl/NOAA; caribou by frostnip/Flickr; Marin Headlands by warzauwynn/Flickr; Tinian monarch by Devonpike/Wikimedia; Alaskan permafrost thawing by Benjamin Jones/USGS; Arctic fox; snapping turtle by divergio/Flickr.

Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702