Center for Biological Diversity

Current Actions

  • Help Make Joshua Tree National Park Whole Again
    Bighorn sheep

    Land that was removed from Joshua Tree National Park in the 1940s for iron mining is now available to be reincorporated into the park. The Park Service has submitted a proposal that contains several scenarios for restoring this land. Help us urge the Park Service to make the best plan for the park's plants and animals -- a plan that combines two alternatives set forth in the proposal.

    Alternative C from the Park Service's proposal is beneficial because it outlines the immediate reincorporation of 22,515 acres of BLM-managed lands back into the park. However, the Park Service needs to include Alternative D's long-term vision of repatriating all the remaining 6,085 acres of state and private lands as they become available for acquisition. Only this hybrid alternative will successfully return Joshua Tree National Park to its former 1936 boundary as quickly as possible.

    Tell the Park Service to combine Alternatives C and D to immediately reincorporate 22,515 acres and also set the long-term goal of reincorporating all remaining lands that were temporarily cut out of the park, returning it to its original boundary.

  • Hold Your Ground: No New Drilling in the Gulf
    Snowy egret

    Join the tide of resistance to oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Hundreds rallied for "No New Leases" in March on a historic day at New Orleans' Superdome, and hundreds more turned out at public hearings to demand that the Obama administration end, not expand, offshore drilling.

    We know the administration heard us loud and clear -- the movement has garnered major national media attention, and the feds heightened security at the public hearings -- but they're still not responding to our many concerns.

    As the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management proposal stands, the feds still plan to hold 10 lease sales from 2017-2022 that would offer up more than 70 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to fossil fuel companies. This would condemn the Gulf to decades of dirty extraction when we need to be moving in the opposite direction.

    Tell the feds that they're standing on the wrong side of history. It's time to end all new oil and gas leases and keep these fossil fuels in the ground.

  • Don't Make This Tortoise Wait Any Longer
    Gopher tortoise

    Gopher tortoises spend their days munching leafy greens under open canopies of pine trees and industriously digging burrows to hide from extreme weather and predators. But they're also team players, sharing their burrows with hundreds of other species like rabbits, foxes, quail, owls, frogs and rare eastern indigo snakes.

    Unfortunately this keystone species is struggling to survive as its woods are destroyed to make way for pine plantations and urban development. Although western populations of gopher tortoises are protected under the Endangered Species Act, eastern populations are not -- and they continue to lose their homes and lives.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service knows these tortoises are on the road to extinction, but relegated them to a waiting list that offers them no protection. Many candidate species have gone extinct waiting for the Act's vital safeguards; the gopher tortoise has already waited for more than a decade. Time is of the essence.

    Tell the Service to protect eastern gopher tortoises before it's too late.

  • Tell USDA to Promote Sustainable Diets
    Extinction Facts

    Research shows that we can't meet international climate targets without reducing meat and dairy consumption. The U.S. Department of Agriculture had the opportunity to include sustainability in its latest dietary guidelines, but the agency ignored the science and overwhelming public support, instead releasing recommendations that the meat industry could celebrate.

    The agency says that sustainable diets are an important policy conversation, but it remains silent about the effects of America's super-sized appetite for meat and dairy. We need that conversation now more than ever.

    Governments around the world -- including the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Sweden -- have published national dietary guidelines urging people to eat less meat. This advice has enormous influence. It can change how people eat and how menus are created in schools and government facilities. And ultimately it can change the quantity of greenhouse gases released into our atmosphere.

    It's time for the USDA to acknowledge that animal products demand more resources than plant-based foods and take concrete steps to address the environmental and health problems that come with high meat and dairy consumption.

    Urge the USDA to issue a public statement and plan of action to promote a sustainable American diet. Then read and share our Extinction Facts labels.

  • Say No to Big Coal in Bangladesh's Mangroves

    Bengal tiger The Sundarbans in Bangladesh -- the world's largest mangrove forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a safe haven for Bengal tigers and other endangered species -- is under serious threat from Big Coal.

    Orion Group, a Bangladeshi conglomerate, is building a coal-fired plant near the edge of the World Heritage site. The plant's infrastructure, shipping and emissions will have devastating effects on the Sundarbans and the thousands of people who depend on the forest ecosystem for their livelihoods. And it will come in addition to a second coal-fired plant the company is building near the capital of Dhaka. Together these plants will spew millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere -- in Bangladesh, one of the nations at highest risk from climate change.

    Orion has reportedly approached the Export-Import Bank, a U.S. government agency with a long track record of committing billions of taxpayer dollars to finance fossil fuel projects abroad. Ex-Im Bank's support for Orion's plants would grease the wheels for coal development abroad, even as the United States moves away from dirty coal on the domestic front.

    Sign the petition to tell Ex-Im Bank to promptly, publicly deny funding for Orion’s coal plants.

  • Stop This Gargantuan Coal Terminal in Its Tracks
    Coal Train

    A corporation named Millennium Bulk Terminals is proposing to build a coal-export terminal in Longview, Wash., near the Columbia River. This facility -- which if built will be the largest of its kind in North America -- would bring toxic coal dust, air pollution, and increased traffic to the Pacific Northwest. We can't let that happen.

    Coal mined in Montana would be transported to the Longview terminal on trains and barges, threatening communities and wildlife all along the way with coal dust, diesel exhaust and spills. From the terminal, coal would be shipped to buyers in Asia, where its use would contribute to the climate crisis.

    From mines in Montana, across tracks in Idaho, onto barges in Washington, and then through smokestacks in Asia, coal poses an unacceptable threat to our health and climate.

    We have an opportunity to raise our voices against dirty coal and in favor of a clean-energy future. Stop the disastrous Millennium Bulk coal-export terminal in its tracks by submitting a comment below. And for greater impact, if you can, please attend one of these public hearings to speak out against the proposal.

    Longview: Tuesday, May 24 at the Cowlitz Expo Center, 1-9 p.m. with a rally at 5 p.m.
    Spokane: Thursday, May 26 at the Spokane Convention Center, 1-9 p.m. with a rally at 5 p.m.
    Pasco: Thursday, June 2 at the Trac Center, 1-9 p.m. with a rally at 5 p.m.

  • Keep Illinois Chorus Frogs From Going Silent
    Illinois chorus frog

    Illinois chorus frogs are in trouble. These rare, inch-long frogs don't ask much -- shallow ponds to breed in and sandy soils to escape harsh weather -- but even that is proving hard to come by. From all sides developers are creeping in on their ancient homes.
     
    And now one of the last populations of chorus frogs in Madison County, Ill., is at risk. Developers plan to build a 652-acre shipping center right beside the most important conservation area remaining in the county. The chorus frogs need this area and the surrounding land to live and mate. The proposed project would directly kill them during construction, destroy their habitat and subject them to toxic pollution, introduced predators and roadkills.

    Right now the developers seek permission from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to move forward with construction, even though they've failed to provide scientific information or conservation measures to ensure the project won't drive the frogs closer to extinction.

    Tell Illinois DNR to deny the developer's application and keep this frog song alive.

  • Raise Your Voice to Save Oak Flat
    Oak Flat

    In December 2014 international mining giant Rio Tinto engineered a backroom deal in the U.S. Congress to authorize a land exchange that would enable it to carve a massive copper mine out of Oak Flat, a precious, unique place that has been off limits to mining for 60 years. This sleazy deal kicked off a campaign of resistance by the San Carlos Apache and their allies, who have occupied Oak Flat continuously since February 2015 in an effort to defend land that is sacred to them.

    But the law also mandates that an environmental impact statement be prepared before the land exchange can be completed. This process allows room for public input, which is very important in holding the Forest Service accountable and ensuring a transparent and fair analysis.

    Take action now to make sure the Forest Service considers your concerns about the future of Oak Flat. The agency's analysis includes environmental, social, cultural, economic and any other foreseeable impacts, so feel free to add your own concerns to those suggested in the sample letter.

  • Protect Public Lands

    Sandhill cranes The timelessness of the Grand Canyon; the remote solitude of Alaska's wild frontier; Great Smoky Mountains National Park; the redwoods and the Everglades -- America's public lands are national treasures owned by all of us and held in trust for wildlife and future generations. They include more than 600 million acres of towering forests, rushing rivers, swaying grasslands and magical deserts.

    Sadly these special places are under attack, and we need your help to make sure these public lands remain in public hands.

    In January, armed militants illegally took over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon. And while the occupation came to an end, the struggle to protect our public lands is far from finished. Politicians in Washington, D.C., and state legislatures across the nation have proposed bills designed to hand over our public lands to the states or private developers. We can't let that happen.

    Stand up and protect your public lands. Please sign the petition below and share it with your family, friends and anyone you know who values America's public lands.

  • Stop This Blob From Getting Any Bigger
    Methane cloud over Four Corners region

    Southern Colorado's HD Mountains Roadless Area is rich with ponderosa pine forests, Mexican spotted owls and ancient American Indian sites. Yet hanging over the region is the largest patch of methane pollution in the United States, discovered recently by NASA scientists.
     
    To make matters worse, the U.S. Forest Service now proposes to let the fossil fuel industry drill on an additional 6,000 acres. And not just anywhere -- the plan includes drilling in officially protected roadless areas.
     
    We need your help stopping this proposal. More dangerous drilling on our public lands will only deepen the climate crisis. And the industrialization that comes with such development will ruin remote wildlands and habitat -- values that are rare, and difficult or impossible to replace.
     
    Using the form below, tell the Forest Service to withdraw its proposal immediately and keep these fossil fuels in the ground.

  • Protect Sea Turtles -- Ban Harmful Gillnet Fishing in California
    Leatherback sea turtle hatchling

    With scientists predicting extinction for leatherback sea turtles as soon as 2030, the killing of even one more of these rare, ancient animals is too many. That's why the turtles need your support for California Senate Bill 1114, which would ban the use of indiscriminate drift gillnets.

    Drift gillnets are fishing nets as long as the Golden Gate Bridge that are set out to drift overnight, unattended, through our oceans. While the nets are intended for swordfish and sharks, they catch just about everything in their mile-wide path. Whales, dolphins, sea lions and endangered leatherback sea turtles are snared in these "walls of death" where they drown, their bodies thrown away as trash.

    Fortunately, a California senate bill has been proposed that would transition California's fisheries away from wasteful gillnets to targeted, more sustainable hook-and-line gear. This bill gives hope to rare and vanishing marine animals like leatherbacks.

    Using the form below, please urge your state representatives to support S.B. 1114, the "Sustainable Swordfish and Marine Life Protection Act."

  • Tom Vilsack: Don't Use 'Judas' Wolves to Kill Whole Families
    Gray wolf

    The wildlife haters will stop at nothing to kill America's gray wolves.

    We've learned that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's rogue wildlife-killing program, Wildlife Services, is using the gruesome tactic of "Judas" wolves to locate and slaughter whole wolf families.

    Wolves are sensitive, intelligent, social animals, and those are exactly the traits the killers at Wildlife Services are exploiting. A Judas wolf is a wolf that is captured, outfitted with a radio collar and turned loose to lead hunters straight to its pack. Once the wolf's family is located, aerial gunners in helicopters swoop in and slaughter it -- leaving the Judas wolf alive to lead the killers to another pack next season.

    The Judas scheme -- officially called "collaring for later control" -- uses unsuspecting wolves to betray their families over and over until the day they die, or the batteries in their collars run down.

    It's time to end this cruel practice once and for all. Tell Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to immediately end the use of "collaring for later control" to kill entire family packs.

  • Get the Lead Out of Minnesota Ammunition
    Bald eagle

    The scientific evidence is extensive and the facts are undeniable: Toxic lead from hunting ammunition enters the food chain and exacts a deadly toll on wildlife. Spent lead ammunition regularly poisons and kills bald eagles, trumpeter swans and other birds. It also poses serious health risks for people who eat wild game.

    We've removed lead from our homes, gas tanks and children's toys -- but not from ammunition, a persistent source of toxic lead in the environment. The time to act on this issue is now.

    The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has proposed a reasonable phase-in of nontoxic shot for small-game hunters in farmland Wildlife Management Areas. But in response, right-wing lawmakers proposed House Bill 3209, which would prohibit the agency from adopting rules that further restrict the use of lead shot.

    Take action below -- tell your lawmakers that you oppose any legislative efforts to prohibit the state agency from taking reasonable action to safeguard Minnesota's wildlife and human health from lead shot.

  • End Commercial Fur Trapping in California
    Fox, badger, bobcat, coyote

    In November 2015 conservationists celebrated when the California Fish and Game Commission voted to ban bobcat trapping, an important step toward bringing the state's wildlife management into the 21st century. But the job was left undone: Foxes, coyotes, badgers and a host of other furbearing animals are still subject to cruel trapping, and it's come to light that the state's oversight of its trapping program is illegal.

    California law requires that the state's costs of managing a fur-trapping program must be fully recovered through trapping-license fees. But the state spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on wardens, biologists and administrators to oversee trapping, yet only brings in a tiny fraction of that amount in fees. Taxpayers are footing the bill for the rest.

    With any luck, that will soon end. At its upcoming meeting the commission will consider a Center for Biological Diversity petition to comply with this never-enforced provision of California law. If implemented, it could mean the end of commercial trapping in the state.

    Take action below -- tell California's Fish and Game Commission that you value wildlife alive and fully support ending all commercial fur trapping in the state.

  • Let's Ban Leaded Gasoline Once and for All
    Small aircraft

    Although leaded gasoline was banned for use in road vehicles in 1995, more than 70 percent of U.S. airplanes still use fuel containing lead. These planes create almost 500 metric tons of lead emissions per year, much of which lingers around airports, exposing an estimated 3 million children who live and go to school in these areas.

    A 2011 Duke University study found that children living within about 550 yards of an airport where leaded aviation gas is used have higher blood lead levels than other children. These children are disproportionately low income and from minority populations, reflecting an ugly national truth: Environmental pollution hurts low-income families far more than others.

    Lead is an extremely toxic heavy metal that can cause severe nervous system damage, reduced intelligence, behavioral changes and developmental defects that are often irreversible. This is not only the case for humans, but for many species of animals we share this world with. It's high time we stopped using leaded aviation gasoline.

    Fortunately, a bill recently introduced into the House of Representatives would result in a ban on leaded aviation gasoline in the United States.

    Don't let our children keep breathing lead -- using the form below, please urge your representative to vote yes on the "No Lead in the Air Act of 2016."

  • Keep Offshore Oil Where It Belongs -- In the Ground
    Polar bear

    To meet international climate agreements from the Paris accord and prevent dangerous climate change, we need to keep oil and gas in the ground -- no doubt about it. Yet the Obama administration has announced plans to do just the opposite. It proposes to expand oil and gas leasing in the Arctic (which has been largely off limits) and ramp up drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, still suffering from 2010's Deepwater Horizon disaster.
     
    Under the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's proposed five-year plan, there would be 13 lease sales from 2017 to 2022: 10 sales in the Gulf of Mexico and three off the coast of Alaska.

    And while President Obama is using executive action to put some of the most sensitive areas in the Arctic's Beaufort and Chukchi seas off limits, this falls far short of what we really need: an end to all new oil and gas leasing in public waters.

    Tell President Obama that if he's going to meet his climate promises, he needs to step up and keep fossil fuels in the ground. That means ending, not expanding, offshore oil and gas leases under his administration's five-year plan.

  • Demand an End to California Offshore Fracking
    Offshore drilling platform

    Last summer's Refugio oil spill off California's coast serves as just the latest reminder of the damage oil drilling and transportation can do. More than 140,000 gallons of crude oil were dumped into the Pacific Ocean, and hundreds of birds, fish, sea lions and dolphins were killed. Offshore fracking is a dirty, dangerous practice that increases the risk of yet another disaster.
     
    Thankfully, oil companies' use of fracking has been on hold in our federal waters, following a legal settlement won by the Center for Biological Diversity on Jan. 29. But that could soon change, given a recent proposal from the Obama administration to allow oil companies to resume business as usual.

    We can't let that happen. The incredibly high injection pressures used to break up rocks below the sea and access oil carry huge risks of causing more spills and triggering earthquakes. And if we don't speak up, oil companies will be allowed to continue dumping an alarming 9 billion gallons of chemical-laden wastewater into our ocean each year. These chemicals have been identified by scientists as among the most toxic to aquatic life, and they can harm people too.

    Specifically, some of the chemicals can kill fish, crustaceans and zooplankton -- the base of the ocean food chain. Others can cause cancer and damage reproductive and neurological systems. And some dangerously build up in sea otters.

    Urge Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to protect our oceans and ban offshore fracking.

  • Tell Amazon to Shine With Rooftop Solar
    Amazon Shine

    Amazon.com is named after a unique and threatened ecosystem that's charmed and inspired us all, yet the land and climate footprint of the company's operations pose a serious threat to biodiversity worldwide. That's why the Center for Biological Diversity has launched its new Amazon Shine campaign, urging the company to install solar panels on its huge warehouses.

    Amazon's fulfillment centers are some of the largest in the world, taking up more than 70 million square feet of space in the United States alone -- and that's not counting the land and climate impacts of powering these buildings. The entire process requires the mass extraction and transport of fossil fuels, as well as the generation and transmission of electricity over long distances.

    As a powerful, growing company, Amazon has the responsibility to consider wildlife in its decisions -- from siting future buildings to minimize wildlife impacts to meeting as much of its energy needs from rooftop solar panels as possible.

    By putting solar panels on top of its warehouses, Amazon can help lead the way toward an energy future that's better for wildlife, people and the planet. It'll also make it easier for others to follow suit.

    Amazon has responded to similar petitions before -- for instance, by committing to power its web services with 100 percent renewable energy. So join us now in asking Amazon to shine by installing solar panels on its U.S. warehouses.    

  • Protect California's Drinking Water From Toxic Oil Waste
    Pumpjack

    California state oil regulators recently asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to exempt a San Luis Obispo aquifer from protection under the Safe Drinking Water Act in order to use it as a dumping ground for toxic oil waste.

    This outrageous move would allow the oil industry to contaminate an underground water source with dangerous chemicals. In the midst of a devastating drought, polluting our precious water is unacceptable.

    We know that many similar applications across the state are waiting on the outcome of this application, which will set a precedent for the security of all other aquifers in California.

    If the EPA approves the exemption, California's precious aquifers will become trash dumps for the oil industry. This decision has a potential impact on water for thousands of communities across California.

    EPA Region 9 is considering the fate of California's water right now, and that's why they need to hear from you. Join us to demand they deny Big Oil's application to pollute.

  • A New Path to Save Oak Flat
    Save Oak Flat

    For centuries Apache people have held religious and coming-of-age ceremonies at Oak Flat, a sacred site in central Arizona's wild, beautiful and juniper-flecked Tonto National Forest. That's why the area was formally withdrawn from all mining 60 years ago by President Eisenhower.

    Yet in December 2014 Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) led an effort to trade this sacred land away to international mining giant Rio Tinto in a midnight rider on a defense bill. This political double-dealing was an egregious betrayal of the Apache people and all other Americans who value public lands for what they are, not the profits they can produce for foreign corporations.

    Thankfully Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) has introduced a bill to repeal the Oak Flat giveaway, S.B. 2242. This follows on the heels of a similar bill introduced last year by Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), H.R. 2811.

    Now's the time to urge your senators to cosponsor S.B. 2242 and repeal the Oak Flat land swap. Together these bills offer an exciting pathway to save a precious place.

  • Pennsylvania's Timber Rattlers Need Your Help
    Timber rattlesnake

    Timber rattlesnakes are slowly disappearing across the country, and in many states they're nearing extinction. But in the mountains of Pennsylvania these fascinating rattlers have found a sanctuary, thanks in part to state laws that protect them as a "candidate species" at risk of becoming threatened or endangered.

    Unfortunately the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the agency responsible for looking after rare and vulnerable reptiles, proposes to remove this protective status without starting a conservation and monitoring program. That's like sending a patient hobbling out of a hospital with a pat on the back and "good luck."

    These snakes deserve better. If they're to survive, they need protected habitat for essential behaviors such as basking in the sun, foraging for food and hibernating during cold winters. And because of the way they live -- in groups and sharing the same dens, year after year -- this haven is even more important.

    Removing protections now will leave these snakes and their homes open to obliteration -- by oil and gas companies waiting to drill and by people who aim to kill the snakes based on the mistaken belief that they're a threat.

    Take action below -- tell the Fish and Boat Commission that now is not the time to give up on timber rattlesnake recovery.

  • I Stand with El Jefe, America's Only Wild Jaguar
    El Jefe

    Recent video shows the only known wild jaguar in the United States in his natural habitat in southern Arizona, where he's been living for more than three years. The stunning footage, captured on remote-sensor cameras, gained national attention for this beautiful cat, named El Jefe by Tucson school kids.

    Many people aren't aware that El Jefe's home is threatened by a massive open-pit copper mine. The proposed Rosemont Mine would blast a mile-wide hole in the ground thousands of feet deep and bury thousands of acres of public land under 800-foot-high piles of toxic mine waste, right in the middle of El Jefe's home territory.

    And the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service -- the agency tasked with protecting and preserving endangered species in the United States -- just gave its approval for this mine project. Documents show that this horrifying decision flies in the face of what the Service's own scientists recommend. It is part of a distressingly familiar pattern of the Service caving to political pressure at the expense of our native wildlife.

    Take action -- let Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe know that the decision to allow the destruction of El Jefe's home is unacceptable.

  • Stop Cruel Gassing of Texas Wildlife

    Western diamondback rattlesnake Texas state officials are considering a ban on "gassing," a barbarous hunting technique used to drive snakes out of their underground shelters. Hunters pour gasoline into snake dens and capture snakes that emerge seeking fresh air.

    Gassing is already banned in dozens of states, including all the states bordering Texas, for good reason: Underground dens offer important shelter to hundreds of species, including foxes, lizards, birds and invertebrates. In Texas 20 endangered species living underground can be harmed by suffocating gas fumes.

    Only with your support can we convince Texas wildlife officials to stop the cruel and unnecessary practice of using noxious chemicals to hunt wildlife.

    Please -- add your name to our petition by filling out the form below.

  • Stop the Slaughter of Nebraska's Rare Cougars
    Mountain lion

    Hunters and trappers exterminated Nebraska's cougars over a century ago, but these remarkable survivors have begun returning to the state. If the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission gets its way, sport hunters targeting these rare cats will prevent any further recovery.

    Contrary to the views expressed by groups wanting to eliminate predators from the landscape, sport hunting is not necessary to protect livestock. Only one incident of a cougar attacking a calf has been reported in Nebraska, and state law already allows killing of any cougar that threatens people or livestock.

    These beautiful wild cats need your help to recover within the state.

    Tell your elected officials to support Legislative Bill 961, which would end the issuing of permits for cougar trophy hunting.

  • Tell Obama: Declare Climate Emergency, Ban Oil Exports

    President Obama Following the signing of the historic Paris Agreement, President Obama has a chance to take real climate action by declaring a "national emergency" and banning all U.S crude oil exports. More than 350 environmental, social-justice, health and faith organizations have urged him to do just that. Now you can join them.

    As global temperatures hit record highs, climate change is unquestionably a national emergency. In fact, it's a "global emergency," according to renowned climate scientist Dr. Jim Hansen.

    The president must halt crude exports to give America -- and the world -- a fighting chance to meet the Paris Agreement's crucial goals of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Halting U.S. oil exports could prevent up to 500 million tons of greenhouse emissions -- the pollution equivalent of more than 135 coal-fired power plants -- from entering our atmosphere. Stopping these exports would also curb the dangerous U.S. fracking boom.

    Last December, less than a week after agreeing to the Paris climate accord, President Obama signed an omnibus bill lifting a 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports. This was a grave mistake, even if the bill was "must pass." But fortunately there's still a way forward: President Obama can declare a national emergency and prohibit exports for a one-year period, which can be renewed indefinitely.

    Please sign our petition calling on the president to declare a climate emergency, reinstate the ban on crude oil exports, and keep fossil fuels in the ground. 

  • Demand Warning Labels in California for Cancer-causing Meats
    Bacon

    After evaluating more than 800 scientific studies, the World Health Organization has concluded that processed meats like bacon, sausage and ham are known to be carcinogenic to humans, classifying these meats alongside cigarettes and asbestos. The WHO also classified red meat as a probable carcinogen.

    Meat production -- particularly of red and processed meat -- is also a known hazard to the environment, responsible for massive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, toxic pollution and habitat loss for threatened and endangered species. 

    Now that the verdict is in, these dangerous meats must be labeled under California's Proposition 65, which requires warnings on all products containing known carcinogens. The powerful meat industry is gearing up to fight this classification, of course, out of fear that informed consumers will choose to eat less meat if they know their health is at stake. Help us fight back.

    Take action below -- urge California's health officials to require labels for processed and red meats linked with cancer. As California goes, so goes the nation ... with your help. 

  • Demand Greener Menus From World's Largest Restaurant Company

    Olive Garden sign Darden Restaurants owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants -- including Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Bahama Breeze. Through these restaurants the company employs more than 150,000 people and serves more than 320 million meals a year, making it the world's #1 full-service restaurant operator.

    As a leading food provider, Darden has a unique opportunity and responsibility to use its considerable purchasing power to support a healthier, fairer and more sustainable food system.

    Sign our petition below urging Darden to adopt greener menus to promote public health and protect wildlife. With a company this large, the effects of every food choice are magnified.

  • Tell Department of Justice: Prosecute Volkswagen's Climate Criminals

    Corporate wrongdoing comes in many forms. What Volkswagen did by cheating on smog-pollution tests is a crime against us all -- those who rely on clean air to breathe today and future generations who deserve a livable planet.

    Volkswagen's deception allowed the greenhouse gas equivalent of at least 32.2 million tons of extra carbon pollution to be released into the atmosphere, roughly the same as the emissions of 6.8 million cars.

    Volkswagen knew what it was doing and did it anyway. The punishment for this kind of violation of public trust has to match the magnitude the impacts will have on people, the environment and our climate.

    Take action below -- tell the U.S. Department of Justice to prosecute those responsible at Volkswagen to the fullest extent of the law.

    And by our calculations, the financial penalties for Volkswagen's environmental violations ought to be at least $25.1 billion -- not the $18 billion that's been discussed so far. (That doesn't include additional potential penalties related to recalls, consumer payments and other factors not related to environmental damage.)

    The punishment needs to fit the crime -- and it has to send a signal to other corporations that they can't cheat current and future generations out of clean air and a livable climate.

  • No More Toxic Pesticides in Minneapolis Parks
    Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

    The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has an integrated pest-management plan that has occasionally found ways to use natural pest control. But the city's strategy still heavily relies on the use of toxic fungicides, herbicides and insectides -- a policy that flies in the face of the best science and carries huge risk.

    Pesticide exposure is associated with numerous health threats, especially to children, pregnant women and the elderly. And pesticides can harm nontarget wildlife, pets and beneficial insects like bees. For example, rodenticides used to control moles also kill foxes and raptors that would naturally control these rodents. And poisons applied to plants can seep into groundwater or get washed directly into local waterways and ponds.

    Take action below -- urge the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to adopt a pesticide-free management policy that's safe for people and wildlife.

  • End Cruel Trapping on Wildlife Refuges
    Canada lynx

    With 563 areas designated, the U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System encompasses an incredible collection of habitats that are home to more than 240 endangered species -- from lynx and wolves to a host of rare and fascinating plants and critters.

    But unbelievably, while these refuges should be a safe haven, trapping is still allowed in more than half of these federally protected lands.

    Jawed traps continue to slam shut with bone-crushing force. Snares continue to fatally tighten around animals' necks. And many nontarget species are also getting hurt or killed. It's time to confront the painfully obvious: Traps don't belong in refuges.

    Take action below -- urge your representative and senators in Congress to step up and cosponsor the Refuge From Cruel Trapping Act -- legislation that would at last end trapping in our wildlife refuges.

  • Revoke the Army Corps' License to Kill Cormorants
    Double-crested cormorant

    Making the right calls for conservation isn't always easy. But when thousands of animals' lives are on the line, those calls better be right.

    That's why we must demand the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revoke its permit for the U.S. Army Corps to kill more than 10,000 double-crested cormorants and destroy more than 26,000 cormorant nests on East Sand Island, near the mouth of the Columbia River. The government agencies are scapegoating these native birds for declines of imperiled salmon and steelhead -- but the real problem is mismanagement of the area's dams, which are disrupting fish runs.

    A recently released document shows that the Service's own biologists found that fish eaten by the birds would have died anyway, consumed by other predators. It makes no sense, then, to kill cormorants. Doing so will not help endangered fish.

    Take action below -- urge the Service to revoke its kill permit and save these cormorants, whose population in the West is already down to less than 10 percent of historic levels due to drought, climate change and human control. 

  • Tell Obama: Our Public Lands and Climate Aren't for Sale

    Keep It in the Ground The Center for Biological Diversity has launched a groundbreaking campaign to end all new fossil fuel development on America's public lands, and now we need your help to drum up support and help break the flow of business as usual.

    Under his "all of the above" energy policy, President Obama has already leased nearly 15 million acres of public land and 21 million acres of ocean to the fossil fuel industry. And, in total, more than 67 million U.S. acres -- an area 55 times larger than Grand Canyon National Park -- are now leased to the fossil fuel industry.

    But importantly, those fossil fuels that haven't yet been leased contain up to 450 billion tons of potential climate pollution. That's over a quarter of the world's remaining carbon budget and vastly more than any U.S. share of it. We simply can't burn it -- and if we can't burn it, it should be banned.

    Take action below -- sign our petition urging President Obama to step up as a true climate leader and stop new fossil fuel development on America's public lands and waters.

  • No Time Like Now to Save Orcas
    Orca

    In early 2015 the National Marine Fisheries Service rightly concluded that, to keep Puget Sound's killer whales from forever disappearing, it was absolutely necessary to protect coastal areas off Washington, Oregon and Northern California under the Endangered Species Act.

    But then, in an about-face, the agency postponed a final rule protecting this habitat until 2018 or beyond. The agency says it needs to gather more information, but scientists say there's plenty: Observations and satellite tracking show that the Southern Resident population of 81 orcas uses and needs these foraging grounds.

    Meanwhile the threats continue all along the orcas' migration route, down to the San Francisco Bay and beyond: Fast-moving maritime traffic, coastal pollution, ocean noise, fishing gear entanglements and food supply depletion could all be minimized by new rules.

    Take action below -- urge the Fisheries Service to end its delays. Species with critical habitat protection are twice as likely to be on the path to recovery as those without.

  • 35 Herps Up for Lifesaving Protections -- Take Action
    Alligator snapping turtle

    With threats like habitat destruction, toxic pesticides and climate change, amphibians and reptiles are dying off at up to 10,000 times the historic extinction rate. This loss is especially alarming because frogs, salamanders and snakes play important roles as predators and prey, and are key indicators of ecosystem health.

    That's why the Center for Biological Diversity filed a 2012 petition -- the largest of its kind in history -- seeking protection for dozens of our nation's rarest herpetofauna. In response to our petition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now considering whether 35 of these "herps" deserve protection under the Endangered Species Act.

    With your help we can save the alligator snapping turtle -- the largest freshwater turtle in North America -- and the inch-long Illinois chorus frog, as well as dozens of other species. 

    Urge the Service to move quickly to protect these rare amphibians and reptiles.

  • Save Oklahoma's Horned Lizards
    Texas horned lizard

    Texas horned lizards are formidable-looking creatures with prominent horns on their head and spines generously scattered over their back and sides. They can even eject blood from their eyes when threatened -- and yet these rare reptiles have no defense against their biggest threat: habitat destruction.

    Indeed horned lizards have undergone massive declines in Oklahoma and are rare across their range in the Midwest and Southwest. The loss of these lizards is alarming not only because of their intrinsic value but also because reptiles play important roles as predators and prey in their ecosystems and are valuable indicators of environmental health. That's why the Center petitioned the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation in December 2014 to protect the lizard under the state's endangered species law.

    More than six months have passed, though, and still no word from the state agency.

    Take action below -- urge the director of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation to protect the state's horned lizards before it's too late.

  • Tell President Obama to Tackle the Climate Crisis

    President ObamaTime is running out to avoid the climate crisis. We need real action and we need it now.

    President Obama doesn't need to wait for Congress to act. He can use his power as commander-in-chief to address global warming, carbon pollution and biodiversity loss.

    Sign our petition urging the president to take these important five steps right now to begin saving our planet from climate catastrophe.

  • Stop the Attacks on the Endangered Species Act
    President Obama

    Over the past few years, the Obama administration has been quietly chipping away at the Endangered Species Act with attempts to alter key parts that have helped this bedrock law prevent extinction for 99 percent of the species it protects.

    Not since the Reagan presidency has an administration pushed changes that so severely undermine this critical law. Without it, it's scary to think where the bald eagle, American alligator and hundreds of other rare wildlife species would be today.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recently pushed four regulatory changes to the Act that make it easier to destroy critical habitat, limit the number of species that qualify for protection, exempt federal agencies from limiting harm to endangered species under overarching management plans and severely limit citizens' ability to petition for species needing help.

    Take action below -- tell President Obama that his administration must reject these changes that would weaken the law. A strong Endangered Species Act is essential to halting the current wildlife extinction crisis.

  • Where Are the Bears?

    California flag without grizzlyGrizzly bears once roamed across California for centuries -- from the state's mountains to its valleys and beaches. But decades of persecution drove them off the landscape, and the last grizzly in California was tragically shot in 1924.

    Now it's time to bring the bears back.

    We're calling on the California Fish and Game Commission to consider options to reintroduce grizzlies in California's Sierra Nevada, where there are 8,000 square miles of prime habitat.

    Grizzlies today survive in just a few pockets in the Rocky Mountains -- roughly 4 percent of their historic range in the lower 48. If these endangered bears are going to truly recover, they need to be returned to more of their native homes in the American West (remote places typically far away from people).

    Grizzlies are so iconic in California that they're on the state flag -- even if they are no longer on the land. Please sign our petition below to return California grizzly bears and a renewed sense of the wild to the Golden State.

  • Does Your Orange Contain Fracking Chemicals?

    OrangeThe Los Angeles Times just published a frightening exposé showing that some of California's crops -- which make up more than half of the nation's produce -- are being grown with oil-contaminated wastewater.

    Please help us stop this scandal now.
     
    In the midst of a historic drought, Big Oil is making millions of dollars selling this toxic oil waste to California farmers desperate for water -- a deal which raises huge questions about the safety of our food supply.

    State agencies and local water boards test for some contaminants but not all -- and, of course, you can never find what you're not looking for. Scientists at Water Defense have proven, however, that methylene chloride and other carcinogens are in the wastewater that feeds these crops.
     
    Take action below -- sign our petition urging Gov. Jerry Brown to halt fracking in California and fully investigate this scandal before more companies gain permits for similar programs and cause irreversible damage to our crops and health.   

  • Save Our Snakes From Senseless Slaughter
    Eastern diamondback rattlesnake

    In most towns it'd be considered unthinkably cruel to have a contest where citizens catch and kill an animal with no limit. But in the Southeast two rattlesnake "roundups" still exist where killing wildlife is supposed fun.

    The target of the two roundups in Whigham, Ga., and Opp, Ala., is the rare eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Populations of the snake have been so destroyed that, following a Center petition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that these rattlers may need protection as an endangered species.

    Rattlesnakes play a key role in the food web, especially in terms of rodent control. And because hunters often use gasoline to drive snakes from their dens, roundups are also harmful to hundreds of other species that share the dens as a home.

    Take action below -- urge the mayors of Whigham, Ga., and Opp, Ala., to convert their roundups into wildlife-friendly festivals where no snakes are killed.

  • Tell Gov. Brown to Shut Down Illegal Wells and Ban Fracking

    Fracking protestCalifornia communities have been ordered to make huge water-use cuts to fight drought, but the state's plan gives oil companies a free pass to continue using and contaminating huge amounts of water.

    Every day illegal disposal wells dump about 27 million gallons of toxic oil waste into protected aquifers. And on top of these risks to our water supply, injecting oil wastewater underground can trigger earthquakes.

    We can't sit back as the oil industry continues to poison our precious water and jeopardize public safety. We don't need a gradual phaseout of these wells, and creating new loopholes to allow currently protected aquifers to be used as garbage dumps for the oil industry isn't a solution. We're suffering the worst drought in recorded history, and so we need Gov. Brown to immediately halt these illegal activities.

    Take action below -- sign our petition urging Gov. Brown to shut down these illegal wells and immediately ban fracking in California.

  • Make Florida Frack-free
    Salmon spawning

    Interior Secretary Sally Jewell recently announced that state and local bans on fracking are "the wrong way to go."

    But we know that these bans are the only way to go -- the only way to protect ourselves from the toxic and climate-warming effects of fracking.

    Florida's government is now considering following Vermont, New York and many local communities by prohibiting the dangerous practice.

    Let's show Florida that we support protecting the climate and public health: Urge the state government to pass the fracking ban.

  • Keep Dangerous Oil Trains Out of California
    Oil train protest

    Dozens of towns along California's treasured central coast, from Sacramento to Los Angeles, could soon see mile-long oil trains rumbling through filled with dangerous crude oil if we don't act fast.

    On the table before San Luis Obispo officials is a proposal for a crude-by-rail expansion in Santa Maria by oil-giant Phillips 66. The only possible benefit from this project is added profit for the oil company -- everyone else along the rail route will be left to deal with the fallout.

    Our railways weren't built to transport this kind of oil, and our first responders aren't prepared to fight the fires, explosions and spills that could ensue. The toxic tar sands these trains carry is also some of the most climate-polluting crude on Earth. Even Phillips 66 admits that transporting this oil will result in "significant and unavoidable" levels of toxins released into the air along the rail route.

    We beg to differ: The many harms from this project are significant, but they're not unavoidable.

    Take action below -- tell the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors to use their vote to block this dangerous project. Then check out a national map of the oil train blast zone.

  • Calling All Youth: Take Action for the Wild
    American pika

    You’re young. You’re dismayed by the evidence of so many animals and plants becoming endangered and going extinct; you’re alarmed by the fact that our governments aren’t doing more to curb dangerous climate change.

    You want to do all you can to stop extinctions and curb global warming.

    That’s all we need to know.

    Please sign this pledge to go on record that you’re serious about preserving the wildlife and wild places of Earth — whether it’s by following our everyday life tips or starting your own nonprofit — to play a role in changing the world.

    This pledge won’t sign you up for any particular action. It’s our way of giving you a chance to take that leap in your mind and identify yourself as a conservationist. You’ll make a difference.

    For your own privacy, we ask that you please use only your first name. Thank you!

  • Tell EPA: Our Ocean's Not a Dump for Fracking
    Sea otter

    Fracking is an inherently dangerous and dirty activity -- whether it happens on land or offshore.

    What's more, oil companies have EPA permission to discharge up to 9 billion gallons of fracking wastewater into the ocean off California's coast -- as though it's a dump instead of a cherished home for all kinds of rare and vulnerable wildlife.

    Whales, dolphins, sea turtles and sea otters have no way of defending themselves. And the burden of proof shouldn't be on the public to decide which and how many of these chemicals are toxic. The EPA has a clear responsibility to intervene to protect our health and wildlife from oil companies fracking off our coasts.

    Take action below -- urge the agency to ban the toxic practice of dumping fracking chemicals into the ocean.

  • Save Monarch Butterflies
    Monarch butterfly

    Monarch butterflies urgently need your help. This iconic, orange-and-black beauty was once common in backyards across the country -- but its population has plummeted by 90 percent in the past 20 years. One of the main causes of its decline is the widespread use of Monsanto's Roundup (glyphosate) -- which is wiping out milkweed, the butterfly's only host plant.

    That's why we've petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list monarchs as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Act is 99 percent effective at preventing species from going extinct, but a species must first be listed to reap the benefits of the Act's protections.

    These incredible creatures need our help to survive. Every year monarchs migrate thousands of miles -- from Mexico to Canada -- in an incredible, multigenerational journey that thrills all who are lucky enough to witness part of it. But without swift action, we may see the end of this migration.

    Please sign our petition below to urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act before it's too late.

  • Tell Walmart Developer: Stop Building on Priceless Habitat
    Bartram's scrub-hairstreak

    Outside of Everglades National Park, the lush habitat provided by pine rockland forest is becoming increasingly rare in south Florida.

    Due to urban sprawl and relentless development, this type of habitat has been reduced to just 2 percent of its original amount. And last month the University of Miami sold 88 acres of this rare habitat to Ram Realty Services -- a developer with plans to build yet another strip mall full of chains like Walmart, Chili's and Chick-fil-A.

    We can't let this happen. This land is special; it provides some of the last remaining acres for rare and imperiled plants and wildlife like the Florida bonneted bat as well as the Florida leafwing and Bartram's scrub-hairstreak, two butterflies that just received Endangered Species Act protection.

    Take action below -- tell Ram we don't need another Walmart. What we need is for our native species to thrive without the constant threat of losing their homes.

  • Help Preserve the Grand Canyon's Watershed
    Greater Grand Canyon watershed

    The Grand Canyon is a breathtaking, awe-inspiring site visited by millions of people each year. It's surrounded by public lands where native wildlife roam through ancient pines to find lifegiving streams and springs. And this watershed feeds the Colorado River and the iconic Havasupai Falls. It's also the cultural and spiritual home to many tribal nations in the Southwest.

    But tragically these lands surrounding the majestic Grand Canyon remain unprotected and open to exploitation. Working with Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), local tribal nations have proposed the creation of the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument to protect the surrounding 1.7-million-acre watershed from toxic uranium mining and destructive old-growth logging. 

    Unfortunately Congress isn't likely to support this proposal in time to protect these lands, so we're urging President Obama to use his power under the Antiquities Act to fulfill this vision and forever protect these lands for future generations.

    Take action below -- tell Obama to leave a legacy we can all be proud of by designating the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument.

  • Save the Polar Bear
    Bookmark and Share

    Polar bears are dying. As global warming accelerates, the sea ice they depend on for survival is literally melting away. Bears are starving and drowning as they have to swim farther and farther to reach solid ice. Some are even turning to cannibalism in a desperate search for food. Those trapped on land hundreds of miles from the nearest ice often wander near villages in search of food and are shot.

    Two-thirds of all polar bears -- including all bears in Alaska -- could be extinct by 2050 if current trends continue. The rest of the species could be gone by 2100.

    But it's not too late to save the polar bear if we join together and take immediate action. The science is clear: We know what needs to be done -- we just need to build the political support to do it.

    Please sign the petition below urging President Obama to rein in global warming and save the polar bear now.

  • Stop Tar Sands Extraction in Utah
    Athabasca oil sands

    Asphalt Ridge in Utah is on its way to becoming the first large-scale tar sands extraction site in the United States -- unless we stop the Bureau of Land Management from leasing the land to foreign oil companies. 

    If the project gets the green light, a Canadian corporation hopes to begin producing tar sands from a pilot facility in the Asphalt Ridge deposit near Vernal, Utah. And that's only the beginning: The company plans to ramp up production to commercial levels if funding is secured. The extraction and burning of tar sands oil would destroy wildlife habitat and contribute to the climate crisis.

    The Obama administration recently released its third National Climate Assessment, highlighting the severe harms from climate change that are already affecting the western United States. The BLM's facilitation of dirty tar sands production on our federal public lands is irresponsible and directly at odds with the findings and conclusions of the administration's assessment.

    Please take action below -- urge the BLM to deny tar sands leasing at Asphalt Ridge.

  • Tell McDonald's: Billions of Burgers Are Bad for Our Future
    Cow

    McDonald's spends hundreds of millions of dollars on ads convincing people to eat more meat. And of course, those ads fail to mention that producing those burgers is sickening our planet -- making a massive contribution to climate change and pollution and driving wildlife out of their homes.

    That's why it's quite the stretch for the fast-food giant to claim it will start sourcing its burgers from "sustainable beef" in 2016.

    At the rate McDonald's sells its burgers -- an estimated 75 per second -- the toll of that much meat production on wildlife and the planet is devastating no matter where the meat comes from. Meanwhile, McDonald's doesn't offer a single Earth-friendly entrée with plant-based protein; its only meatless options are limited to sides like salads and apple slices.

    McDonald's may not be the restaurant of choice for many environmentalists, but it's the choice of about 70 million people every day. This gives McDonald's a huge influence over the industry and the eating habits of people throughout the world -- and by extension, over our planet's future.

    Take action below -- urge McDonald's to be a leader and work for real sustainability by including meatless options in its menu.

  • End Unfair Tax Breaks for Dirty Energy
    Coal-powered smokestacks

    Our government gives billions of dollars of taxpayer money to gigantic dirty energy companies every year. It's unfair, unnecessary, and it hurts clean-energy companies.

    Unfair government payments to some of the world's largest corporations make dirty energy like oil and coal cheaper, giving them an advantage over clean power sources like wind and solar.

    These payments are not just hugely wasteful -- they also increase greenhouse pollution and speed climate change. President Barack Obama needs to protect our climate and our wallets by fighting these dirty giveaways.

    Take action now stop these outrageous handouts fueling climate change.

  • Clean the Air and Save the Climate in Your Community
    Earth

    The Clean Air Act is an environmental law that holds polluters accountable for poisoning the air we breathe and causing the planet to warm. The oil, gas and coal lobbies have slowed and even stopped the government from using the law to stop global warming.

    Cities across the country are rallying together to end the delays. They are asking the federal government to set strong, swift, lifesaving standards to reduce global warming pollution.

    Sign the petition below to encourage your city or town to join the growing network of Clean Air Cities.

    .

  • This Land Is Our Land -- Don't Frack It Up
    Fracking protest

    Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the dangerous process of blasting huge volumes of water mixed with toxic chemicals underground to crack open rock formations and extract oil and gas.

    And the fracking-induced oil and gas boom has transformed our energy landscape, undercutting clean energy and furthering our addiction to fossil fuels while polluting our air, wasting water and threatening wildlife.

    To avoid catastrophic climate change, we need to leave at least 80 percent of proven fossil fuels in the ground -- including the majority of shale oil and gas reserves. We simply can't afford to employ a toxic practice that will prolong our dependence on oil and gas.

    Methane leakage from fracking poses a grave threat to our climate, as methane is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere over a 20-year period.

    And our public lands are right in the bull's-eye of this fracking rush. The Interior Department leases millions of acres of our federal lands to private companies for oil and gas drilling and estimates that 90 percent of new wells on federal land today are fracked. Many of our national parks, including Grand Teton and Big Cypress, are even at risk from oil and gas drilling.

    The best way to protect our climate, health and wildlife is to ban fracking. And what better place to start than on our public lands?

    Please join us in telling Interior Secretary Sally Jewell: Our national treasures belong to us, not Big Oil -- ban fracking on public land.

  • Pledge to Take Extinction Off Your Plate
    Pika

    Meat production is one of the planet's largest causes of environmental degradation and most significant threats to wildlife.

    And the problem is rapidly getting worse: Production of beef, poultry, pork and other meat products tripled between 1980 and 2010 and will likely double again by 2050. This increasing meat consumption in a world of more than 7 billion people is taking a staggering toll on wildlife, habitat, water resources, air quality and the climate. Meanwhile, Americans eat more meat per capita than almost any other country in the world.

    By signing the pledge below to reduce meat consumption by one-third or more, we can start to take extinction off our plates. Join the Center's Earth-friendly Diet Campaign today.

    Already a vegetarian? Then you're a valuable wildlife advocate who can help others join the movement. Spread the word by taking the pledge and asking your friends to sign.

    Protect wildlife -- pledge today to eat an Earth-friendly diet.

  • Don't Let Big Oil Frack California's Coast
    Dolphin

    Despite a moratorium on new oil leases off California's coast, some oil and gas companies are extending the life of existing oil operations by fracking: Old leases that should be retiring are adding to our country's addiction to fossil fuels.

    Fracking involves the use of toxic chemicals blasted at high pressures to force oil and gas out of subsea rock. The way the law currently stands, some companies are allowed to dump their wastewater directly into the ocean.

    Help save whales, dolphins and fish from unnecessary harm -- insist that our leaders bring a stop to this dangerous practice. 

    Sign the Center for Biological Diversity's petition below to urge the California Coastal Commission and other leaders to halt offshore fracking now.

  • Ban the Big, Bad Bullfrog
    Bullfrog

    Voracious, exotic bullfrogs are destroying native wildlife across the western United States.

    In California bullfrogs eat and outcompete animals like the endangered California tiger salamander and California red-legged frog. They also spread deadly diseases like chytrid fungus, which is wiping out native frog and toad populations.

    Millions of bullfrogs are imported into the Golden State each year for food, pets or dissection. But many bullfrogs escape or get set free, largely defeating taxpayer-funded conservation efforts to remove nonnative bullfrogs from the wild.

    Bullfrogs also threaten California's amphibian populations, which already face unprecedented declines from habitat destruction, climate change and other forces.

    Sign our petition below and tell Gov. Jerry Brown to ban the import and sale of bullfrogs in California. 

  • Stop Catching Wild Turtles for Turtle Races
    Eastern box turtle

    Turtles are dying off at an alarming pace -- rates never seen before -- under pressure from habitat loss, road kill and other threats. But one of those threats could prove fairly simple to tackle: turtle races. Annual turtle races strain native populations every year -- thousands of turtles are removed from the wild and raced in small towns across the country.

    It's easy to believe little harm is done when turtles are caught, then released into the wild after races, but the fact is that these races can expose turtles to deadly diseases. Those diseases spread to wild populations when the turtles are released. Ranavirus is a sickness causing particular concern; it has led to widespread turtle, frog and salamander deaths in 25 states.

    Many of the threats native turtles face are difficult problems to solve -- but turtle races have an easy fix. Just stop using turtles caught in the wild. Many towns already use creative substitutes for wild-caught turtles, such as river races using rubber turtles or races where people pull toy turtles on strings.

    Sign our petition and ask communities to stop using wild-caught turtles in their turtle races.

  • Protect Appalachia from Destructive Mountaintop Removal
    Watermelons

    Every day the wildlands of Appalachia are under attack as millions of pounds of explosives are detonated in the mountains, toxic dust is sent into the air and streams are polluted with mining waste. All of this destruction is in the name of mountaintop removal mining that poisons water and destroys wildlife habitats and human communities.

    Congress has the power to place a moratorium on this dangerous practice -- and we need your help to make that happen.

    More than 500 mountains and 2,000 miles of streams have already been destroyed. In some counties, nearly a quarter of the total land area has been permitted for surface mining with devastating effects on human health and wildlife.

    People living in areas of mountaintop removal mining face significantly elevated rates of cancer, birth defects and other major health problems like kidney, heart and respiratory diseases. And what's bad for people is also bad for wildlife. Mountaintop removal threatens endangered fish, salamanders, crayfish and freshwater mussels found nowhere else in the world.

    Using the form below, urge your representatives to support the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act and place a moratorium on mountaintop removal permits.

  • Gov. Brown: Don't Frack California
    Fracking rig

    California is on the brink of rapidly expanding fracking in our Golden State, despite the risks to our air, water, wildlife, communities and climate.

    Across the country, more than 1,000 documented cases of water contamination have been associated with fracking and drilling, which pollutes our air with toxic chemicals and emits methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas. It also opens up new areas to fossil fuel development at a time when we need to transition rapidly to clean, renewable energy.

    Governor Brown should follow the lead of New York, New Jersey and Vermont and prohibit fracking to protect our wildlife, our natural resources, our health and our climate. That's why the Center for Biological Diversity is joining our allies in pushing to get more signatures in support of a fracking ban than on any other environmental petition in the state's history. We need your help now to make it happen.

    Please use the form below to sign the Center's petition to urge Gov. Brown to ban fracking.

  • Eliminate Subsidies to Big Oil, Coal and Gas
    offshore oil rig

    In 2011 the Big Five oil companies made $137 billion in profits. During just the first quarter of 2012, Chevron, BP, Conoco Phillips, Shell and Exxon Mobil made a combined $368 million per day. At the same time, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are now the highest the Earth has seen in 15 million years, and the decade from 2000 to 2010 was the warmest on record.

    Despite this crisis, our government continues to subsidize fossil fuels at nearly six times the rate of renewable energy. Our government needs to stop rewarding big polluters for destroying our climate. At a time when they should be slapped with a damage bill, offering these dirty-energy profiteers a government handout is absurd.

    But the fossil fuel giants aren't going to give up without a fight, so we need an unstoppable groundswell of support for this important effort.

    Please sign the petition to Congress and join the Center for Biological Diversity, 350.org and other organizations around the country to support stripping away these outrageous subsidies.

  • Protect Corals, Fish and Sea Turtles From Ocean Acidification
    Endangered Oceans logo

    Your beach may be more polluted than you think. Each hour we dump one ton of invisible pollution into the ocean; if it were a visible, tangible substance like oil, we would demand that the spill be halted. Even though you can't see it, this pollution threatens our sea life -- from the smallest of plankton to the greatest of whales.

    The pollution is carbon dioxide, and it's making our oceans more acidic.

    Ocean acidification is linked to global warming in that both are caused by CO2 buildup and both threaten to cause unprecedented devastation to the planet's biome. The early effects are already here: Baby oysters cannot survive in waters off the Pacific Northwest, coral growth has been stunted in Florida, and polar waters have eroded the shells of prey that sustain Alaska's salmon and whales.

    Sign the petition below and tell the president and the Environmental Protection Agency we must act now to end ocean acidification.

  • Change Rattlesnake Roundups to Humane Festivals

    Each year thousands of rattlesnakes are removed from the wild and killed at "rattlesnake roundups." Rattlesnakes play a key role in the food web, maintaining balance in nature by preying on rodents, but hunting of snakes for roundups is pushing some species toward extinction.

    Please sign this petition asking communities to change their roundups to festivals where snakes are not hunted or killed.

    Several communities have already changed their roundups to wildlife-appreciation festivals, which generate important income for the communities and educate the public about the importance of saving native species, not slaughtering them.

  • Take the Pledge: Join the Bluefin Boycott

    Overfishing is pushing bluefin tuna to the brink of extinction. These magnificent animals are famous for their racecar-like speeds, but their population has been reduced to historically low levels by more than 80 percent since industrial fishing began.

    The government ignored the danger to bluefin tuna and gave industry its way when it denied Endangered Species Act protection to the fish in 2011. After years of catching Pacific bluefin tuna before they reproduced, populations are at critically low levels, having declined 96.4 percent from unfished levels.

    So right now the best way to stop overfishing is to vote with your plate.

    Bluefin tuna remains a prized menu item in some restaurants. Send the message that serving bluefin tuna is unacceptable by signing our pledge; then share this with your friends and local restaurants.

  • People's Petition to Cap Carbon Dioxide Pollution at 350 Parts Per Million

    Prominent climate researchers have warned that we must reduce the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million (ppm) or below in order to stabilize climate change and avoid global catastrophe. The Center for Biological Diversity, along with Bill McKibben's group 350.org, is advocating strongly for this necessary standard.

    While carbon dioxide isn't the only global warming pollutant we need to control, it's the number-one contributor to climate change.

    Please join us in moving toward a real solution to the climate crisis by calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to do its job as science, the law and common sense require.

    Sign the People's Petition to Cap Carbon at 350 Parts Per Million today.

  • Join the Fight to Save Okinawa Dugongs
    Dugong

    The governments of Japan and the United States are plowing ahead with construction of a new air base in Japan's Henoko Bay, threatening to destroy the last refuge of the critically endangered Okinawa dugong.

    And it's not just dugongs that are in harm's way: Okinawa's coral reefs support an entire world of rare, fascinating and little-known creatures -- and tragically more than half of these reefs have already disappeared due to global warming and pollution.

    Eighty percent of the Okinawan people, including their governor, oppose the base. American, Japanese and international organizations have spoken out against it. And both the U.S. Marine Mammals Commission and the World Conservation Union have confirmed that the base is a serious threat to dugongs, which are entitled to protections under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

    Construction of the offshore facility will also deplete essential freshwater supplies, increase the human population in sensitive areas, and encourage more harmful development.

    Environmental groups from both sides of the Pacific Ocean have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense to stop the base. While early success in the case stalled the project for several years, the Center and allies are now back in court fighting to end the construction.

    We need your help. Urge President Barack Obama and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to step in and halt this destructive project.