Wetlands provide food and safety for juvenile fish and are critical stopovers for migratory birds, but they are also essential to maintaining clean, healthy water supplies that support our own consumption. Diverting water from these areas only hurts us in the long run.
Defenders has been urging the State of California, in collaboration with local interests and the environmental community, to develop a coordinated, holistic plan to address the air, wildlife, and water quality problems at the Salton Sea.
In April, the National Marine Fisheries Service began the process to determine whether the Gulf of Mexico population of Bryde’s should be protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Defenders recently provided information on the many threats the Bryde’s whale faces to reinforce the case for listing.
Even with all of the important places for conservation of the Mojave desert bighorn sheep, desert tortoise, kit fox, and other animals excluded, there is still ample already-degraded desert land appropriate for large-scale solar energy development - that is where we should be directing projects.
Finding appropriate places to develop large-scale solar energy projects is not an easy task. The BLM’s solar energy program was just the first step toward developing an approach to zoning public lands for development while ensuring that habitats and wildlife are protected.