Petition Filed to Help North Pacific Right Whales
The Center for Biological Diversity and allies filed a petition this morning urging the federal government to expand critical habitat for North Pacific right whales in Alaska. They’re the most endangered group of whales in the world: The eastern population is down to only about 30 individuals.
These massive mammals — who have gigantic, arched jaws and can weigh 70 tons — are still no match for the mounting threats they face in the areas we’re pushing to protect. Trans-Arctic shipping traffic, for example, is surging as climate change and melting sea ice open shipping routes, increasing ocean noise and risks of vessel strikes.
“If we don’t want to lose these magnificent whales in our lifetimes, we have to safeguard all the habitat that’s critical to their survival,” said the Center’s Cynthia Elkins. “Only a fraction of this important area is protected now, so federal action is a crucial step.”
Strengthen the Law, Save Life on Earth
The Center just filed an ambitious legal petition urging the two agencies in charge of the nation’s wildlife to take bold action against the extinction crisis by strengthening how the Endangered Species Act is carried out.
NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should push for bold new rules to tackle climate change, reduce political meddling, and make industry accountable for any harm it does to crucial habitat.
“Despite the Endangered Species Act’s remarkable success at stopping extinctions,” said the Center’s Stephanie Kurose, “these agencies have been reluctant to fully implement it, succumbing to political and industry pressure. The time for reform is now.”
Extinction isn’t inevitable. Help us prevent it with a gift to our Saving Life on Earth Fund.
Exxon Oil-Trucking Plan Defeated in Santa Barbara
ExxonMobil’s been pushing to restart three drilling platforms off the Santa Barbara coast — but on Tuesday, in a move that will make that harder for the fossil fuel giant, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted to reject its plan to transport the oil by tanker trucks along hazardous California highways.
“We’ve seen oil spill after oil spill along the California coast,” said Julie Teel Simmonds, a Center attorney. “It’s incredibly encouraging to see Santa Barbara County supervisors take a stand against this dirty and dangerous industry.”
Center supporters have been helping fight this destructive plan since it was proposed in 2019. Thanks for being part of this crucial win.
Biden Backtracks on Wildlife Pesticide Protections
The Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday that a pesticide called malathion does not pose an extinction risk to any protected animals or plants — thus refusing to take meaningful action to shield them from the chemical.
This move contradicts the agency’s own 2017 finding that malathion would likely jeopardize 1,284 species. It also runs counter to last week’s NOAA Fisheries finding that malathion poses risks to endangered U.S. salmon, sturgeon, steelhead and Puget Sound orcas.
“The Biden administration has failed to rein in the dangerous use of one of the world’s worst neurotoxic pesticides,” said the Center’s Lori Ann Burd.
Center Op-Ed: Feds Must Act for Yellowstone Wolves
Last year the Center and allies filed an emergency petition to restore Endangered Species Act protections to Northern Rockies wolves, who don’t benefit from our recent win restoring those protections to other U.S. wolves. But the Fish and Wildlife Service has done nothing since announcing in September that the wolves may indeed deserve that protection.
In the meantime, hunters massacred 25 Yellowstone National Park wolves just for setting paw outside the park’s invisible boundaries.
“The time to step in is now, not in six months or a year,” said the Center’s Collette Adkins in this recent op-ed. “A future without Yellowstone’s wolves is too heartbreaking to imagine and too senseless to allow.”
The Path to Peace? More Renewables, Jobs, Justice
President Biden’s ban on Russian oil and gas imports — using the very laws the Center has been urging him to use to speed the transition off fossil fuels — is a critical first step toward ending the fossil fuel tyranny that’s both funding the invasion of Ukraine and driving the climate emergency.
Learn how Biden can lead the way to a peaceful and livable future using his broad authorities under the Defense Production Act to ramp up the production and deployment of renewable technologies, create millions of good-paying jobs, and prioritize green energy in vulnerable communities.
Stay tuned for more ways to take action.
Revelator: Historic Chance to Save Rivers
Ten bills that are now in Congress would add protections for 7,000 miles of free-flowing river — plus 5 million acres of riverside land — to safeguard drinking water, biodiversity and recreation. The River Democracy Act in Oregon, for example, would help significantly expand the nation’s Wild and Scenic River System, established in 1968.
Read more about this landmark legislation in The Revelator. And don’t miss out on the e-newsletter bringing you each week’s best environmental articles and essays.
That’s Wild: The Science of Weird Sea Creatures
Weirdness is in the eye of the beholder. To humans, deep-sea animals’ transparent bodies, giant eyes, and glowing face appendages look strange. But these seeming oddities are incredible adaptations suited to the low light and dangerous world of the deep sea.
Learn more in this video from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
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Photo credits: North Pacific right whale courtesy NOAA; Indiana bats by Ann Froschauer/USFWS; wolves by Holly Kuchera, manatees by NOAA and polar bear via Depositphotos; oil tanker accident courtesy Cal Fire; Southern resident orca and calf courtesy NOAA; wolf by Pick Pic; rooftop solar installation by David Dodge/Green Energy Futures; Tumalo Falls by Elliott Blackburn; deep-sea lizardfish courtesy NOAA.
Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702