Center for Biological Diversity

Protect Our Wildlife and Waterways From Pesticides

Aerial application of pesticides
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Nearly a billion pounds of pesticides are used each year in the United States. Pesticide contamination is pervasive in aquatic habitat for fish and wildlife throughout the country and in the public water supply, causing needless threats to both wildlife and human health. Many pesticides have been shown to contribute to the loss of native fish and amphibian populations and cause significant bird kills.They're a particular threat to wildlife species facing extinction.

Many EPA-approved pesticides are also linked to cancer, endocrine disruption and other serious health effects in humans, particularly children, the elderly, farm families and farmworkers. Emerging science indicates these chemicals also have transgenerational effects, meaning low-level exposures today may harm future generations.

The EPA has now proposed a "Pesticides General Permit" that would allow pesticide applications on, over or near waterways throughout the United States.
The agency is required by the Endangered Species Act to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service to ensure its permit does not result in harm to imperiled species in waterways. The Act offers strong protections for our most endangered wildlife, with side benefits for human health.

Government wildlife experts at the National Marine Fisheries Service found that the EPA's Pesticides General Permit fails to meet the legal requirements for protecting threatened and endangered wildlife such as the chinook, coho, chum and sockeye salmon, steelhead trout, beluga whales and killer whales. In fact, the Pesticides General Permit is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of 33 endangered and threatened species.

To reduce harm to wildlife, the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed a "Reasonable and Prudent Alternative" that
would limit pesticide applications in our waterways and reduce the harm of pesticides to wildlife. This alternative would restrict pesticides in areas known to be home to threatened and endangered species, while increasing monitoring and reporting of applications.

If you are a resident of the U.S., p
lease use the form below to tell the EPA to reduce toxic pesticides in our waterways by protecting habitat for imperiled wildlife from pesticides and increasing water-quality monitoring for pesticides.

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*Fields marked with an asterisk are required. Please take action by July 25, 2011. This action is restricted to U.S. residents.

Photo courtesy USFWS.

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