Defenders News Briefs: Fall 2009
Feeling the Heat with Jeff Corwin
Animal Planet host Jeff Corwin donned scuba gear to get up close and personal with African penguins this summer. Corwin, a Defenders board member, also met Myrtle the green sea turtle and nine other species at Boston-area zoos and aquariums to record a series of videos about animals that are feeling the heat because of global warming. Defenders is using the videos to educate people how warming temperatures are harming some of the Earth’s coolest creatures, and what can be done to save them. Watch the series.
Victory for California Wildlife
The majestic California condor and the captivating California gnatcatcher are among the several species that will gain greater protection under a recent court ruling. In June a federal judge ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the Endangered Species Act when preparing biological opinions that did not include protective measures for 40 plant and animal species in four southern California forests. “Land-management plans have impacts on the wildlife that live on our forests,” says Kim Delfino of Defenders of Wildlife, a plaintiff in the case. “We hope this will set a new tone and the Obama administration will provide wildlife on public lands the protections they so desperately need.”
Throwing a Brick at the Wall
It’s a wall that borders on folly when it comes to the environmental laws thwarted to build it. The REAL ID Act of 2005 gave the Secretary of Homeland Security—an unelected official—the authority to waive any law, including the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, to fast-track construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, prompting Defenders to get involved with legislative efforts to halt construction. In June, with 40 miles left to build on biologically sensitive areas of California and Texas, 27 members of Congress urged the new Homeland Security secretary to ensure our laws will be enforced. Read about Defenders’ campaign to protect the borderlands.