We're Suing Trump to Save Alaska’s Beluga Whales


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Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Suit to Take On Oil and Gas Threat to Cook Inlet's Belugas

New government data reveal a dramatic decline in Alaska's endangered belugas, down to just 279 animals in Cook Inlet. That's why the Center for Biological Diversity and allies have notified the Trump administration we intend to sue over its approval of oil exploration in the white whales' home.

The feds relied on higher beluga numbers in 2019 when giving the green light to Hilcorp Alaska to harm these whales (and other animals) as it expands oil and gas operations in the inlet. Our notice says the company must consider the new, smaller numbers and much steeper rate of decline.

"The Trump administration needs to stop handing out permits for the fossil fuel industry to blast, pile drive, and drill in Cook Inlet," said the Center's Julie Teel Simmonds. "These animals are hanging on by a thread. We have to protect them and give them some peace."

Read more in the Anchorage Daily News and consider making a gift supporting our work to protect belugas and other wildlife from oil and gas exploration.

Fracking protest

The Big, Bold Action We Need to Save the Planet

For the first time ever, members of Congress have introduced a comprehensive bill to ban fracking across the United States — and now they need to hear your support.

Fracking is an extreme form of energy production that blasts toxic chemicals underground to break up rock and release oil and gas. In the process it causes unbelievable harm — poisoning our rivers and groundwater, polluting our air, sickening our children, causing earthquakes, and destroying our public lands and wildlife.

The science is clear and has been for years: A ban on fracking is desperately needed to curb the climate crisis and safeguard the planet for future generations. Yet decision-makers continue to drag their feet.

Act now to tell Congress to ban fracking once and for all. It's long past time to toss this filthy, dangerous activity into the dustbin of history.

Frostpaw in Iowa

We're in Iowa and New Hampshire, Saving Life on Earth

Our new Saving Life on Earth campaign has kicked into high gear to push all political candidates to address the wildlife extinction crisis.

We were in Iowa last week for the caucuses — maybe you saw our viral moment with Joe Biden. Now we're headed to New Hampshire (along with Frostpaw the polar bear) to press all presidential contenders to endorse a plan making sure future generations inherit a world full of bears, wolves, turtles and other wild creatures.

One species vanishes from our planet every hour: Extinction isn't a crisis we can afford to ignore. Help us hold presidential and congressional candidates accountable for our wild future.

Join us Feb. 12 to learn how you can get involved.

San Pedro River

The San Pedro River — the last undammed desert river in the U.S. Southwest — is renowned for its astonishing biodiversity. Here you'll find Gila monsters, vermilion flycatchers, western tanagers, belted kingfishers, bears, javelinas, coatis, mountain lions, leopard frogs and more. But this life-giving waterway is under imminent attack: Bulldozers are gearing up to tear apart the river for new construction of Trump's border wall.

Meet the wild denizens of the San Pedro in our new video on Facebook or YouTube.

Lawsuit to Protect Hawaiian Waters From Plastic Pollution

Plastic pollution, Hawaii

The Center and allies sued the Trump administration Wednesday for failing to protect 17 coastal water bodies around Hawaii from widescale plastic pollution.

"The beaches where our keiki gathered shells are now covered in plastic," said Maxx Phillips, the Center's Hawaii director. "Waters our families fish in are filled with toxic debris. Marine life in our coral reefs is choking on microplastics. This is a crisis we need to address before it's too late."

Get more from our press release.

Northern long-eared bat

Courtroom Roundup: Pollution, Bats and Border Walls

The Center and allies filed suit this week to force Trump's Environmental Protection Agency to restrict the use of dangerous chemical dispersants like Corexit after oil spills. Those toxic mixtures act synergistically with spilled oil to hurt and kill ocean creatures, from corals to dolphins. We also gave the EPA notice we'll soon sue to curb pollution from airplanes, now the third-largest source of transportation-related greenhouse emissions.

With other groups we petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of federal rulings that have allowed the Trump administration to waive dozens of environmental laws to speed construction of U.S.-Mexico border walls.

And we had good news in our legal battle to save northern long-eared bats, whose populations have shrunk by up to 99% due to white-nose syndrome. A judge ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider giving the bats stronger protection than it granted in 2015 — and to use better science for its decision.

5 Things You Need to Know About Our Warming Ocean

Icebreaker

Ocean temperatures have dramatically increased due to climate change — last year, in fact, ocean waters were the warmest in recorded history. That's devastating news for marine species ... and people. The Revelator's Tara Lohan has pored over the research and boiled it down — no pun intended — to the top five things you need to know. It's scary stuff, but that's all the more reason to get informed.

Read more and check out The Revelator on Facebook and Twitter.

Monarch butterflies

Pollinator Protector Homero Gómez González Murdered

Mexico's Homero Gómez González was a forest-conservation activist and passionate advocate for monarch butterflies. He went missing Jan. 13, and last week his body was found with signs indicating his death was a murder.

Two days after González's funeral, another monarch activist, Raúl Hernández, was also found dead.

A shocking number of environmental activists are murdered every year, with many more criminalized for working to protect vital natural resources.

Learn more at The Revelator about how front-line land and water defenders risk their freedom, and very lives, to save the planet.

Monarch butterflies

Center Op-ed: How to Help Washington's Whales and Salmon

The endangered West Coast population of orcas is down to as few as 72 individuals. One of the main threats to their existence is the decline of the salmon they eat. That's why, writes Center attorney Sophia Ressler in a new op-ed, Washington's lawmakers must implement common-sense measures to protect salmon populations.

One way to do that? End destructive hobby gold mining in salmon-spawning rivers and streams.

Read the op-ed.

Cadiz Dunes Wilderness

Wild & Weird: The Physics of Sand Dunes

A team of researchers at the University of Cambridge has discovered that the physics behind the movement, or "migration," of sand dunes is linked to the way the dunes themselves interact with each other. The study of long-term dune migration is relevant to climate change studies and increases in "desertification," a kind of land degradation leading to a loss of biodiversity.

Find out more about how sand dunes interact at University of Cambridge.

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Photo credits: Beluga whale by Sheila Sund/Wikimedia; fracking protest by Joe Brusky/Flickr; Frostpaw in Iowa courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; San Pedro River by Russ McSpadden/Center for Biological Diversity; Hawaii plastic pollution courtesy Raftography Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii; northern long-eared bat by Dave Thomas/Flickr; icebreaker by Ville Miettinen; monarch butterflies by Patrick Donnelly/Center for Biological Diversity; Southern Resident killer whale by Miles Ritter/Flickr; Cadiz Dunes Wilderness by Bob Wick/BLM.

Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702
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