Change Agent Poet

Activism

 

 

 

BestManatee-with-baby

Good news for Florida’s beloved manatees: After receiving thousands of letters from Center activists and broad public support for manatees, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed new rules to increase manatee protections at Three Sisters Springs in Kings Bay.

These springs make up the only confined water body in the United States that’s open to the public while wintering manatees are present. As a vital warmwater refuge during cooler months, it supports up to 17 percent of the entire manatee population.

The Service’s proposal will end the ill-advised practice of allowing people to enter the refuge while manatees have congregated in its warm waters to survive cold temperatures, and will at last allow visiting mother-calf pairs to rest and nurse.

Act now to urge the Service to quickly follow through with its proposal — a welcome and much-needed improvement for these manatees.

Click here to take action and get more information.

If you can’t open the link, go to http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17354.

Tell your representative to co-sponsor the Honest Fisherman Act of 2015 to protect our oceans, consumers honest businesses >>

With a single piece of legislation, we have an opportunity to protect the oceans and our own health, level the playing field for honest fishermen and businesses, and make sustainable choices.

That’s an opportunity I’d hate to see wasted.

The Protecting Honest Fisherman Act of 2015, introduced by Reps. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA), could deliver this progress for our oceans by requiring seafood to be traced from bait to plate. But the bill needs our support and the support of Congress if it’s going to pass.

Tell your member of Congress to help protect the oceans and consumer safety by co-sponsoring the Protecting Honest Fishermen Act of 2015 >>

This bill would require all seafood sold in the United States be accompanied by basic information, including the species name and where and how it was caught or farmed. That would help put an end to illegally caught or fraudulent seafood entering our markets, such as imperiled species swapped for more sustainable options, directly threatening our health and the health of our oceans.

More than 1,800 different seafood species are listed on the Food and Drug Administration’s Seafood List – that leaves a lot of opportunity for fraud. The Presidential Task Force on Combatting Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud is planning to phase in traceability requirements starting with a few “at risk” species.

That’s just a Band-Aid approach. We need comprehensive traceability that covers all species and requires the information to get to the consumer to truly make a difference.

Members of Congress and their staffs are making their way back to D.C. from August recess this very moment. I plan on knocking on office doors and hand-delivering this petition to your representative to recruit co-sponsors for this important piece of legislation.

Will you add your name to tell your representative to support this legislation for our oceans?

Thank you for speaking up for our oceans.

Lora SnyderFor the oceans,
Lora Snyder
Ocean Advocate


BestGrey Wolf 3It isn’t just your imagination: Republicans in Congress are dramatically ramping up their attacks on the Endangered Species Act and the animals and plants it protects. A new Center for Biological Diversity analysis called Politics of Extinction finds that, over the past five years, Republicans in Congress have launched 164 attacks on the Act — a 600 percent increase in the rate of annual attacks over the previous 15 years.Although wolves have been repeatedly targeted, this attack campaign has put sage grouse, delta smelt, American burying beetles and lesser prairie chickens in its sights as well. It’s also aimed at crippling the Act itself, which protects more than 1,500 species around the country. Not surprisingly this unprecedented onslaught on the Endangered Species Act corresponds with a massive increase in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry, big agriculture and other interests that oppose endangered species protection when it interferes with profits.”We’re witnessing a war on the Endangered Species Act unlike anything we’ve seen before,” said the Center’s Jamie Pang. “If it’s allowed to succeed, this Republican assault will dismantle the world’s most effective law for protecting endangered wildlife and put scores of species on the fast-track to extinction.”Read more in our press release.

Gone Too Long: Bring Back the Bears to California — Take ActionBest_Grizzly_BearThey’re on the state’s flag, but grizzly bears have been missing from California for nearly a century. It’s time to bring them back. This week the Center launched a provocative new campaign — using grassroots organizing, ads and social media — urging the California Fish and Game Commission to support the return of grizzlies to the remote parts of the Sierra Nevada.These great bears once roamed from the crest of the mountains to the beaches along the coast, but the last California grizzly was shot in Kings Canyon in 1924. Today there are vast stretches of habitat where grizzlies could survive and restore a sense of the wild that’s vital to who we are and what California should be.Our new campaign is using images of California’s state flag — without grizzlies — to drive home the point that these bears belong in the Golden State and have been gone too long.Please take a minute to sign our petition, share the campaign with your networks (#BringBackTheBears) and help us return grizzlies to California.

To Save Elephants, New Restrictions Enacted on Domestic Ivory Sales
BestAfricanElephantOn Saturday, as part of an ongoing effort to reduce trade in wildlife through its “National Strategy on Wildlife Trafficking,” the Obama administration announced new rules that restrict the trade of ivory over state lines and strengthen limits on ivory exports. The announcement comes on the heels of a Center petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reclassify African elephants as two distinct species and protect both as “endangered” instead of merely “threatened.”Elephants across Africa are being wiped out at a dizzying pace to feed the illegal market for ivory products, and the United States has one of the largest markets in the world. Prohibiting interstate ivory trade is a much-needed step to shrink those domestic markets.As Center staffer Lydia Millet wrote in an op-ed in The New York Times on Sunday, fewer than 100,000 forest elephants and 400,000 savannah elephants remain. Genetic studies indicate that the two split into separate species at least 2 million years ago, about the same time Asian elephants diverged from mammoths. An endangered listing would help protect the animals from the devastating effects of poaching.Read Millet’s op-ed in the Times and consider giving to our work to save these elephants.

Become a Monthly Sustainer

Outrage Over Cecil the Lion’s Death; Similar Baiting Happens in the U.S.
BestBobcatFury spread around the world this week with news that a legendary lion in Zimbabwe was lured out of a national park and shot by an American hunter. Cecil the lion, who was 13, was prized at Hwange National Park and had been outfitted with a GPS collar to be part of an Oxford University study. Conservationists said Cecil was lured out of the park and shot with an arrow but not immediately killed. He was then tracked for some 40 hours and shot to death, according to reports.But if you think luring wildlife out of national parks to be killed is limited to Zimbabwe, think again. In California it’s still legal to lure bobcats out of a national park to kill and skin them for the fur trade. Next week, as a result of legislation supported by the Center, the state Fish and Game Commission is voting on whether to ban bobcat trapping statewide.Speak up now to let California know you support a ban.

Emergency Petitions Filed to Save Alaska WolvesBestWolfFollowing a report that Alaska’s rare Alexander Archipelago wolves have reached alarmingly low numbers in the Prince of Wales Island area, the Center and allies this week petitioned three agencies to take emergency action to protect them.Alexander Archipelago wolves are smaller and darker-colored than other gray wolves (they’re often jet-black), roaming the islands and coastal mainland of southeast Alaska. The wolves depend on old-growth trees in the Tongass National Forest, North America’s largest national forest.The Center has worked to save these wolves since 1996, when we first petitioned, with allies, for their federal protection. Thanks to our second Endangered Species Act petition, filed in 2011, the Fish and Wildlife Service will decide whether to protect the wolves by the end of this year. In the meantime, to protect the rapidly declining wolves on Prince of Wales Island, we’re asking the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Federal Subsistence Board to cancel the area’s 2015–2016 trapping and hunting season. We’re also requesting that the U.S. Forest Service suspend logging and road-building in its Big Thorne timber project to allow reconsideration of its impacts on wolves.Read more in the Juneau Empire.

Suit Filed to Stop Mendocino County From Using Wildlife-killing ProgramBestFoxThe Center and partners filed suit Monday under the California Environmental Quality Act challenging Mendocino County’s contract renewal with Wildlife Services, the federal wildlife-killing program that killed nearly 3 million animals in the United States in 2014. The county’s renewal of the contract also violates a settlement agreement.The county’s previous contract authorizes the program to kill hundreds of coyotes — as well as bears, bobcats, foxes and other animals in the county every year — without fully assessing the ecological damage, considering alternatives or heeding opposition from hundreds of county residents.”Despite the county’s promise to consider nonlethal alternatives that are better for wildlife and taxpayers, county supervisors decided to do an end run around the law,” said the Center’s Amy Atwood. “They’ve misled and disappointed hundreds of their constituents.”Read more in the Ukiah Daily Journal.

Take Action

Court Order Sought to Expose California Pesticide Spraying
Bee-apisThe Center, other environmental and public-health groups, and the city of Berkeley are seeking a court order to force the California Department of Food and Agriculture to publicly disclose and analyze any pesticide spraying it conducts that poses risks to people, wildlife or the environment.This summer the department is spraying residential neighborhoods and school playing fields with three pesticides that are intended to kill Japanese beetles but so far have been unsuccessful — and the chemicals (carbaryl, cyfluthrin and imidacloprid) are linked to cancer, birth defects and miscarriages in people … besides being highly toxic to bees.Our coalition filed a lawsuit in January challenging the department’s reliance on a statewide environmental report to spray the pesticides instead of doing further analysis of their harms — outraging residents of the Sacramento communities of Carmichael and Fair Oaks by spraying right in their backyards. A court order requiring the agency’s disclosure of their spray campaigns and possible effects would be a major victory for public health and the environment.Read more in our press release.

Wild & Weird: Selfies and Bison Don’t Mix
BestBisonBefore digital cameras and social media, people rarely handed out hundreds of photos of themselves to friends, family and total strangers dozens of times a day. They rarely felt the need to showcase themselves, say, #eatinglasagna, standing before the bathroom mirror presenting #rippedabs, or posing too close to a #wildbison.Last week a Mississippi woman — one of the more than 3 million people who flock to Yellowstone National Park yearly — put herself and her daughter about 6 yards in front of one of the park’s bison to snap a selfie. The massive ungulate came at them, and while the daughter wasn’t injured, the mother was butted by the bison and tossed into the air.Fortunately she received prompt medical attention and was diagnosed with minor injuries only. It’s the fifth such bison encounter in Yellowstone this year, though, and the third incident to include a tourist who got too close for the sake of a photo.Read more in The Washington Post; then learn from The Guardian what Russia’s government is doing to prevent death-by-selfie.

Dolphin

It’s been five years since the BP oil spill disaster first devastated wetlands, beaches, and wildlife habitats in the Gulf; and the impacts are still far from over.
A recent study found that the highest number of bottlenose dolphin strandings between 2010 and early 2013 took place in areas most impacted by the 2010 BP oil spill.
Earlier this year, a Louisiana federal judge ruled that BP face a potential fine of $13.7 billion for the devastation caused by their oil disaster in the Gulf. However, there is no guarantee those fines will go toward the restoration of habitats for species like the bottlenose dolphin.
It’s up to people like you to make sure the BP’s fines from the Gulf oil disaster go toward real environmental and community restoration, not corporate development in fragile areas.
Send a message telling the Department of Commerce to make sure BP’s Gulf oil disaster fines are used for restoring Gulf wildlife, ecosystems and communities!

  1. Complete the form below with your information.
  2. Personalize your message if you wish.
  3. Click the Send Your Message button to send your message to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
 

Don’t mine sacred Native American land in Arizona.

In what many believe is a first in U.S. history, Congress has decided to give away a sacred Native American site to a massive foreign mining company.1 We’re joining a last ditch effort to save this land before copper mining begins and this land is irreversibly destroyed.

Republicans in Arizona have been attempting for years to trade away the beautiful national forest lands at Oak Flat in Arizona, which are considered holy by the Apache tribe. And until recently, they’ve failed for lack of support. But last December, in a deeply cynical and undemocratic move, Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake snuck last minute language into a must-pass defense bill transferring the land directly to the Rio Tinto mining company.2

Apache tribal leaders are planning a caravan to Washington, D.C. this month to protest this outrageous land giveaway. We’re joining thousands of activists to help amplify their message and pressure Congress to stop the Apache land grab.

Sign the petition: Stop the Apache land grab and protect Native American holy land from copper mining.

It’s hard to imagine politicians in Washington making the same deal for this land if it were considered sacred and holy by any other major religious group. But it’s sadly in keeping with a history of Native American mistreatment and dislocation.

And this land isn’t just important to the local Apache tribe – it’s important to historians, archaeologists, and all Americans who care about preserving a crucial piece of U.S. and Native American culture. When asked about the significance of the land at Oak Flat, a professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada stated, “this is the best set of Apache archaeological sites ever documented, period, full stop.”3

Foreign-owned mining giant Rio Tinto has repeatedly sought control of this copper-rich land over the past decade, lobbying Congress more than a dozen times since 2005.4 And it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Senators McCain and Flake were behind this unprecedented corporate giveaway. McCain has received campaign contributions from Rio Tinto subsidiaries for years, and Flake – before being elected to Congress – actually lobbied for a Rio Tinto subsidiary in support of a massive uranium mine in Namibia.

We need to fight back against this deeply undemocratic move and show Washington that Americans won’t stand by as our legislative process is twisted and sold off to the highest bidder.

Sign the petition: Protect Native American holy land from mining.

Thank you for your activism.

  1. Lydia Millet, “Selling Off Apache Holy Land,” The New York Times, May 29, 2015.
  2. IBID
  3. Zach Zorich, “Planned Arizona copper mine would put a hole in Apache archaeology,” Science, December 10, 2014.
  4. Serene Fang, “In Arizona, a controversial federal land swap leaves Apaches in the lurch,” Al Jazeera America, February 20, 2015.

Tell President Obama: No Offshore Drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic

Oil spills could soon scar the United States East Coast and Arctic Ocean, if we don’t speak up. The Obama administration has released its draft five-year plan for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf, and huge swaths of the Atlantic Ocean and Arctic Ocean are included for potential development.

Once drilling starts, so will the spilling – toxic oil contaminating our oceans, harming wildlife and ocean-dependent industries. The specter of a disaster like BP Deepwater Horizon would loom large.

And all of this suffering is completely unnecessary. An Oceana report released earlier this month showed that offshore wind in the Atlantic would produce twice as much energy and twice as many jobs as offshore drilling. The Arctic’s harsh conditions have proved companies are not ready to operate safely there with some even walking away from leases they bought over the last decade.

We must act now to keep the threat of new offshore drilling from becoming a reality.

Make your voice heard – Sign our petition to tell President Obama to keep new offshore drilling out of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. Oceana will submit this petition and your signature to the five-year plan’s comment period.

Dear President Obama, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Abigail Ross Hopper,

Please do not permit offshore drilling for oil in the Atlantic Ocean off the United States East Coast or in the United States Arctic Ocean as currently proposed in the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) draft 2017 to 2022 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

The Atlantic Ocean has long been spared from the dangerous threats posed by offshore drilling and must retain these important protections. Drilling in the Atlantic would expose marine wildlife, and important industries that depend on healthy oceans, to unprecedented risk. As many as 138,000 dolphins and whales could be harmed by seismic blasting. Once drilling begins, spills will inevitably follow.

The effects of the BP disaster are still being felt in the Gulf. And the root causes of this tragedy are still largely unresolved. To needlessly expose the East Coast to the threat of oil extraction and spills is short-sighted and irresponsible. Oil spills do not follow state lines. Offshore drilling and the risk of spills in any of the proposed states, is a risk to neighboring states even if they do not want drilling.

Oceana released a report earlier this month that showed offshore wind in the Atlantic would produce twice as much energy and twice as many jobs as offshore drilling. The risks posed by new drilling are simply not worth it.

Past efforts to explore for offshore oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean has put our oceans at risk, led to controversy, litigation, government investigations, and near disaster. There is no good reason to continue down that path by selling even more leases in the Arctic Ocean. Companies are not ready to operate safely, have not explored the leases they already own, and many have walked away from leases they bought over the last decade.

I applaud the President’s action to protect Hanna Shoal and coastal areas along the Chukchi Sea and in the Beaufort Sea. However, in the context of offering additional offshore leases for drilling these sound actions will not be adequate to protect the Arctic Ocean from harm or the devastating impacts of an oil spill.

Please remove the Atlantic and the Arctic oceans from the proposed five-year oil and gas leasing program on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Sincerely,

Text JOIN to 50555 to sign up for Oceana text alerts. Standard message and data rates may apply.

Click here to update your information.

This message was sent to mail.suzae@hotmail.com. If you no longer wish to be an Oceana supporter, you can unsubscribe by simply clicking here.

Oceana | 1350 Connecticut Ave. NW, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20036 USA   p: +1 877.762.3262