Center for Biological Diversity

Current Actions

  • Protect Lake Superior Watershed From Toxic Mine
    Superior National Forest
    Bookmark and Share

    The proposed PolyMet sulfide copper mine poses a major threat to the wetlands, waters and wildlife of the Superior National Forest in northeast Minnesota. PolyMet seeks to construct an open-pit mine that would operate for 20 years and then require mechanical water treatment "indefinitely." Yet the company and regulatory agencies have not disclosed a plan for how PolyMet could possibly ensure adequate funding for centuries of water treatment, monitoring, maintenance and mitigation. 

    The mine would generate a staggering 15 million tons of waste rock every year, totaling over 300 million tons. Polluted tailings would be added to an existing taconite tailings basin that's already known to leak toxic chemicals. And both the mountain of waste rock and tailings basin would leach pollution into nearby groundwater, wetlands and streams on their way to Lake Superior.

    The proposed mine would also destroy or indirectly harm thousands of acres of high quality wetlands, as well as habitat for northern long-eared bats, lynx and wolves.

    The Forest Service knows this project isn't even allowed on the Superior National Forest. But instead of protecting this area, the agency has proposed a land swap with the mining company -- effectively giving away 6,000 acres of public lands and acting as if the area's environmental protections do not exist.
    Take action below -- urge your state and federal officials to reject PolyMet's mine proposal.

  • Keep Fracking Out of Florida
    Bookmark and Share

    Through dozens of city and county resolutions, the people of Florida have spoken loud and clear: We do not want oil and gas companies taking over our land, destroying our ecosystems and crushing efforts to protect ourselves from fracking.

    Fracking is an inherently dangerous activity that contaminates huge amounts of water, jeopardizes public safety, contributes to global warming and destroys wildlife habitat. Industry-friendly regulations won't protect us or our priceless natural resources; you can count on that. 

    Oil companies already have their eyes set on fracking Florida's Everglades, the largest subtropical wilderness left in the lower 48. It would only take one spill to spoil this home for dozens of imperiled wildlife. A single accident would also deal a serious blow to tourism as well as the source of drinking water for one in three Floridians.

    Unfortunately we can expect a relentless push from oil and gas companies for access to drill and frack. That's why our only hope is in a permanent ban.

    Take action below -- urge state Sen. Charlie Dean and state Rep. Steve Crisafulli to introduce S.B. 166 and H.B. 19, respectively, to the committees they chair. These two bills will bring Florida one crucial step closer to a statewide fracking ban.

  • Save the Kentucky Arrow Darter
    Kentucky arrow darter
    Bookmark and Share

    In the mountains of eastern Kentucky, an unexpectedly beautiful fish needs you to speak up for its protection.

    The Kentucky arrow darter lives in small Appalachian streams under high threat from surface coal mining, and Big Coal doesn't want to see this little fish gain an ounce of protection, lest it disrupt business as usual.

    The darter has already been completely lost from 36 of 74 known sites, with 16 extirpations having taken place since the mid-1990s as mountaintop-removal coal mining expanded. The pollution that's killing these fish also continues to plague the people who live downstream.

    Urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to finalize Endangered Species Act protection for the Kentucky arrow darter. You can help protect this fish from extinction and restore clean water to a region gripped by coal.

  • Defend Joshua Tree From Massive Dewatering
    Joshua tree
    Bookmark and Share

    Home to desert tortoises, bighorn sheep and numerous rare and imperiled plants, Southern California's Joshua Tree National Park is a biological gem. The park is now threatened unfortunately by a water-pumping scheme that will draw down ancient groundwater and leave wildlife out to dry -- all to fuel urban growth.

    The Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project, now permitted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, would pump more than 9 billion gallons from the
    aquifer. It took thousands of years to collect and store that water, and in a single generation much of it could be lost.

    The National Park Service and its parent agency Department of the Interior must protect the park from this ill-conceived project at all costs.

    Demand that these agencies defend this national treasure by challenging FERC's flawed environmental review in court.

  • Tell USDA to Stop Retaliating Against Its Own Scientists
    Soybean seeds
    Bookmark and Share

    Disturbing reports from U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists reveal that the agency is suppressing research on the dangers of pesticides and retaliating against them when their studies reveal unfavorable facts about these chemicals.

    Indeed, when public interest in Jonathan Lundgren's work grew -- work that's shown neonicotinoid pesticides are killing monarchs and don't even provide tangible benefits to farmers -- USDA began to seriously harass the senior scientist, eventually forcing him to file a federal whistleblower complaint.

    Widely used on crops such as corn and soybeans, neonicotinoids have quickly become the most commonly used insecticides in the United States and are a major source of revenue for the multibillion-dollar pesticide industry, despite the overwhelming body of science linking them to declining pollinator populations. By suppressing its own scientists, USDA has shown that it's more interested in protecting these powerful industry interests than the integrity of American agriculture.

    We need be able to trust USDA to properly regulate our food supply. Take action below -- demand a full investigation and the restoration of scientific integrity at USDA.

  • Ban New Offshore Drilling on the West Coast
    Platform Holly in Southern California
    Bookmark and Share

    Surfing, sea otters, sunbathing, whale-watching, soaring squadrons of pelicans -- and sticky oil slicks. These are all features of Southern California's sandy beaches, but we don't think the last item belongs on the list. Let's take it off for future generations by permanently banning new offshore oil and gas leases.

    Offshore oil platforms have been part of the West Coast for too long, polluting the waters and coating the beaches in sticky goo with sickening regularity. Surprisingly, the coastal areas off California, Oregon and Washington are still available for federal oil leases. Oil drilling deepens our climate crisis and imperils wildlife.

    Let's stop offshore drilling now and forever by passing the West Coast Ocean Protection Act, which would ban new oil and gas leases on a coastline valued by locals and tourists from around the world.

    "Keep It the Ground" has become the mantra of a new generation of citizens concerned about the climate and carbon pollution, and this is an important first step in that process -- so let your representatives know how you feel.

  • Tell Sen. Klobuchar: Don't Mess With Wolf Recovery
    Minnesota wolf
    Bookmark and Share

    Congressional efforts are now underway to reach a budget agreement to fund the government for the next year. Unfortunately, removing federal protections for wolves may very well be the price the Republican-led Congress demands to keep the government running after Dec. 11.

    We need you to deliver an important message to Sen. Amy Klobuchar: Reject any budget deal that includes removing federal protections from wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes region.

    If this policy rider is included, it will likely lead to a widespread wolf slaughter -- killing that could include more trophy hunts and cruel traps. We can't let such riders become law.

    Deciding when to remove Endangered Species Act protections is not the role of politicians, and these bills would set a dangerous precedent and weaken this bedrock environmental law. Wolves would lose the Act's lifesaving protections for no reason other than being unpopular with special interests and extremists. During this critical time, it's essential that Sen. Klobuchar hears from you.
    Take action below -- write or call Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to speak up against the wolf riders and any other attempts to undermine the science and integrity of the Endangered Species Act during the budget negotiations process.

  • Protect the Ban: No Crude Oil Exports
    Fracking illustration
    Bookmark and Share

    A critical safeguard against climate change and the public-safety risks associated with fracking, America's decades-old crude oil export ban is now under attack. Earlier this year, the House voted to lift the ban. Now Republican congressmen need just a few more Democratic votes to ram the legislation through.

    Lifting the ban would be a huge mistake: It would massively boost oil production at a time when the latest climate science and reports on the wildlife extinction crisis demand that we leave as much of those fossil fuels in the ground as possible.

    Specifically the combustion of all that newly fracked oil is estimated to generate more than 515 million metric tons of carbon pollution per year -- the equivalent annual greenhouse gas emissions of 135 coal-fired power plants or more than 100 million passenger cars.  

    Take action below -- urge Congress to oppose overturning the crude oil export ban and stand up to Big Oil, whose only stake in the matter is its own profit.

  • Tell Congress to Save Oak Flat
    Save Oak Flat protest
    Bookmark and Share

    Oak Flat in central Arizona is sacred land to the San Carlos Apache tribe, but Congress traded it away last year to facilitate a huge copper mine for international mining giant Rio Tinto.

    You can help save Oak Flat with a single phone call. Urge your representative to cosponsor H.R. 2811, a bill to repeal the Oak Flat giveaway. You can leave your message with the receptionist or at the office's voicemail after hours. Just remember to be quick and polite -- and to include your name and where you're from.

    Here's a sample call script. Type in your ZIP code to get your representative's phone number, then let us know you called.

    Hi, my name is ______, and I live in ______. I'm calling to urge you to cosponsor H.R. 2811, a bill to repeal the Oak Flat land exchange. I care deeply about our public lands and wildlife, and I was outraged when Oak Flat was traded away to a foreign mining company last December in a midnight rider. This land is sacred to Apache people and has very high wildlife and recreational value. Congress should never have made this rotten deal in the first place. Please help repeal the land exchange as soon as possible.

  • Tell U.S. Climate Negotiators to Back Airplane Pollution Cuts
    Bookmark and Share

    If commercial aviation were considered a country, it would rank seventh after Germany in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. So why is this sky-high source of planet-warming pollution getting a free pass at international climate talks?

    Ahead of this year's Paris climate summit, negotiators from the United States and other nations have been crafting a document that will form the basis for a final global treaty. Aviation and shipping have been addressed in that text since early on. But the latest version turns responsibility for these sources' pollution over to industry-friendly regulators -- the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization.

    That would be disastrous. In the past 18 years, the aviation organization has not adopted any measure to curb aircraft-induced global warming. And the maritime organization has rejected any need to cap shipping emissions.

    The Obama administration's climate negotiators must strongly and publicly support international efforts to truly address aviation and shipping pollution in the Paris agreement.

    Take action below. Tell Todd Stern, the State Department's special envoy for climate change, to back strong international measures to curb greenhouse pollution from airplanes and ships.

  • Demand Warning Labels in California for Cancer-causing Meats
    Bookmark and Share

    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. 

  • Wolves Under Attack -- Tell Obama to Use His Veto
    Gray wolf
    Bookmark and Share

    It's no secret that some politicians cater to special-industry interests and have no respect for established precedent, science or federal laws. Through the use of unrelated policy riders tacked onto must-pass spending bills, House and Senate Republicans have repeatedly shown that they're not above trying to undermine wildlife protections through closed-door tactics. 

    President Obama has repeatedly threatened to veto legislation that rolls back environmental protections. Now's your chance to urge him to make good on his word by using his veto power to reject all riders negatively targeting wolves in the Department of Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill.

    The president must choose science over politics and set a precedent against any future attempts to strip wildlife protections through such bills.

    Take action below -- urge President Obama to keep a hawk's eye on the Interior spending bill and use his veto until all toxic riders are cut.

  • Save New Mexico's Last Free-flowing River

    Gila River, New Mexico Originating in America's first designated wilderness area, New Mexico's Gila River is an ecological treasure that deserves long-term protection. Its riparian forests are home to one of the highest concentrations of breeding birds in the country, and its waters teem with fish. A dammed and diverted Gila would mean significantly less water in the river -- a deadly blow to the area's outdoor economy and wildlife, and a story we’ve seen written across the Southwest too many times.

    After three previous failed attempts to dam and divert the Gila, the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission and local New Mexico CAP Entity are pushing forward with a Gila River diversion project yet again.

    But fortunately at least one major hurdle still lies ahead: The New Mexico CAP Entity and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell must sign off on an agreement by Nov. 23.

    Take action below -- sign our petition urging Secretary Jewell to save the Gila River by refusing to sign this agreement. The area's long-term water needs can be met by other proven means -- through conservation, groundwater management, water recycling and watershed restoration. 

  • End the Use of Toxic Flame Retardants in Household Items
    Car seat
    Bookmark and Share

    Recent research has made some deeply troubling finds: Toxic flame retardants are pervasive in our homes, our bodies and the wild places that we love. These chemicals are associated with multiple adverse health effects, including reproductive and developmental problems, hormone disruption and cancer. Due to frequent hand-to-mouth contact, children are extremely vulnerable. 

    Flame retardants are designed to persist and some are in the same chemical class as DDT -- so the sooner we can rid our environment of these chemicals, the better.

    Following recent legislative action in California, many consumer products can now meet federal and state standards without the use of toxic flame retardants. Yet they are still pervasive in the products we buy.

    Make your voice heard -- tell the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban the sale of products containing these unnecessary toxic chemicals.

  • 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.

  • Push for Lifesaving ESA Protections for 17 Species
    Wood turtle
    Bookmark and Share

    We face a profound extinction crisis. With threats like habitat destruction, toxic pesticides and climate change, we're losing animals at up to 10,000 times the historic extinction rate.

    That's why the Center for Biological Diversity is working to get our nation's rarest animals protected under the Endangered Species Act. In petitions to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, our scientists gather data on downward population spirals and document the threats to their survival.

    In a win for more than a dozen species, our petitions have garnered a response from the Service to consider whether eight salamanders, a turtle, three snakes, two lizards, two birds and a minnow deserve federal protection.

    But that protection isn't yet secured. We need your help to do it.

    We can save all 17 of these animals -- from the orange-throated wood turtle, which stomps its front feet to cause earthworm prey to surface, to the lesser slender salamander -- usually just over 1 inch long.

    Take action below -- urge the Service to move quickly to protect these rare animals. And if you want to make an even bigger difference, directly submit your own comments on petitioned animals living near you. 

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

    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
    Bookmark and Share

    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.

  • Protect California's Deserts With New National Monuments
    Mount San Gorgonio, California
    Bookmark and Share

    Rugged, awe-inspiring and soon hopefully protected. Join Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in calling on President Obama to use his powers under the Antiquities Act to establish three new national monuments in California's deserts.

    The Mojave Trails National Monument would link Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave National Preserve and 13 wilderness areas. Just two hours from Southern California's dense city centers, the monument would provide a refuge for explorers and a chance to see dark night skies, wide-open vistas, wildflowers, and a variety of wildlife.

    The Sand to Snow National Monument would rise from the Sonoran Desert floor up to Mount San Gorgonio at 11,503 feet. The area's home to the headwaters of two of Southern California's lifegiving rivers, the Santa Ana and Whitewater. And many landscape influences -- montane, desert and coastal -- converge here to make the area a living laboratory for evolution and a hotspot for biological diversity.

    The Castle Mountains National Monument, at 29,000 acres, would conserve the missing piece in the northern part of the Mojave National Preserve. The Castle Mountains were originally left out of the national preserve when it was established because of a large gold mine, but the area has since been reclaimed. The area is home to Joshua tree forests and unique desert grasslands. 

    Take action below -- urge President Obama to establish these monuments today.

  • Calling Local Red Wolf Allies: We Need Your Howl

    Red wolf The Center for Biological Diversity and allies are pushing back against the few vocal, special-interest groups in North Carolina who want to see the red wolf go extinct. If they get their way, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will terminate its recovery efforts rather than listen to the thousands of other citizens and scientists who strongly support keeping the program alive.

    Red wolves were first reintroduced into the wild in 1987 at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. And today a free-ranging population of 50 to 75 wolves inhabits about 1.7 million acres of federal, private and state lands in northeast North Carolina, making the recovery program a success so far.

    While there's still work to be done to properly restore populations, it will be impossible without the commitment of the Service, which has noted it will only move forward with support from local landowners in the recovery area.

    Take action below--- sign our letter to the Service showing your support for keeping red wolves on federal, state and private lands. This remarkable recovery program is not yet done.

  • End Cruel Trapping on Wildlife Refuges
    Canada lynx
    Bookmark and Share

    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.

  • Wolves Under Attack -- Tell Obama to Use His Veto
    Gray wolf
    Bookmark and Share

    It's no secret that some politicians cater to special-industry interests and have no respect for established precedent, science or federal laws. Through the use of unrelated policy riders tacked onto must-pass spending bills, House and Senate Republicans have repeatedly shown that they're not above trying to undermine wildlife protections through closed-door tactics. 

    President Obama has repeatedly threatened to veto legislation that rolls back environmental protections. Now's your chance to urge him to make good on his word by using his veto power to reject all riders negatively targeting wolves in the Department of Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill.

    The president must choose science over politics and set a precedent against any future attempts to strip wildlife protections through such bills.

    Take action below -- urge President Obama to keep a hawk's eye on the Interior spending bill and use his veto until all toxic riders are cut.

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

    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
    Bookmark and Share

    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.

  • Protect Californians From Toxic Atrazine
    Farm workers
    Bookmark and Share

    So dangerous it's been banned by the European Union since 2004, atrazine nevertheless remains on the U.S market as the second most widely used agricultural pesticide.  

    Fortunately a healthier future may soon be within reach: California has finally proposed to list atrazine under Proposition 65, a law which requires the state's businesses to warn citizens of unsafe exposures to toxins.

    There's just one big hitch: The threshold the state proposes is too high to do much good for California's farmworkers who are chronically exposed to these chemicals or our kids who are particularly sensitive. The state's numbers are also flawed, based on a 20-year-old unpublished study by the pesticide's manufacturer.

    Take action below -- urge California's health officials to use only the best science to protect people and wildlife from this dangerous pesticide.

  • Expect More. Bag Less.
    Plastic bags in tree
    Bookmark and Share

    Plastic shopping bags in the United States require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture, account for thousands of pounds of litter along the coasts and are responsible for the deaths of millions of seabirds and marine animals every year. Despite this, they're in almost every American home because retail giants like Target continue to use them.

    In recent years Target has positioned itself as a company that cares about sustainability, with eco-friendly product branding and other efforts to green its stores. Yet it continues to send shoppers home with single-use plastic bags that take ages to break down and end up threatening sea turtles, birds and other wildlife.

    That's why it's so important that we hold Target responsible for its carbon footprint and plastic waste, which amounts to more than a billion plastic bags every year.

    Take action below -- demand an end to single-use plastic bags in Target stores to fight climate change and protect wildlife. Other retailers and cities have successfully reduced their waste by eliminating plastic bags, making it easier to use reusable bags and rethinking how they bag purchases. It's time for Target to step up. 

  • Save Oak Flat From Arizona Copper Mine

    Save Oak Flat Oak Flat in central Arizona is sacred land to the San Carlos Apache tribe, but Congress traded it away last year to facilitate a huge copper mine for international mining giant Rio Tinto.

    The mine would destroy Oak Flat, where native people have held religious and coming-of-age ceremonies for generations, and leave behind a massive crater -- wiping out streams, springs and wildlife habitat.

    We need as many people as we can to speak out for Oak Flat and support an important bill by Rep. Raúl Grijalva to repeal the Oak Flat giveaway.

    Take action below -- join the Apache resistance by signing our pledge to save Oak Flat from this destructive copper mine.

  • Join the Apache Resistance Against Arizona Copper Mine
    Apache Leap, Arizona
    Bookmark and Share

    Stand with the San Carlos Apache tribe to protect Oak Flat, a sacred Apache site in the Tonto National Forest in central Arizona.

    International mining giant Rio Tinto's plans to develop a massive copper mine there would leave a depression in the ground the size of the Winslow meteor crater, drain the aquifer and destroy important streams, springs and wildlife habitat.

    The area was formally withdrawn from mining by presidential order 50 years ago, but Congress recently approved a land swap that allows the company to obtain private control of the land and evade environmental laws in the process.

    Please take a moment to urge Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to oppose this project.

  • Save Oklahoma's Horned Lizards
    Texas horned lizard
    Bookmark and Share

    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.

  • Tell EPA: Cut Airplane Carbon Pollution
    Airpline contrail
    Bookmark and Share

    The EPA recently determined that skyrocketing greenhouse pollution from airplanes hurts our climate and endangers human health. But instead of fighting this fast-growing threat, the agency wants to pass the buck to an international organization virtually run by the airline industry.

    If commercial aviation were considered a country, it would rank seventh after Germany in terms of carbon emissions -- and those emissions are projected to more than triple by 2050. That's an unacceptable threat to our climate.

    Yet the EPA plans to just sit back and wait for another authority to take action -- the International Civil Aviation Organization, which hasn't produced a single measure to curb aircraft-induced global warming in 18 years.

    The EPA has set climate standards for cars, trucks, buses and power plants -- now the agency must do the same for airplanes.

    Take action below -- urge the EPA to set airplane carbon rules now.

  • Tell EPA to Curb Toxic Soot Pollution
    Los Angeles smog
    Bookmark and Share

    Several times smaller than the width of a hair and about 50 times smaller than a sand particle, toxic soot is nevertheless a serious public health threat. Precisely because of its size, soot can easily enter our lungs and bloodstream -- which is why Southern California's notoriously smoggy skies are such a problem.

    Toxic soot pollution comes from burning fossil fuels and has been linked to a number of health risks, including premature death, heart attacks, strokes and decreased lung function. That's why we need stronger protections under the Clean Air Act to improve air quality.

    In 2009, the EPA gave the South Coast Air Basin -- which includes much of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties -- six years to meet clean air standards. And yet just months before the deadline, the area is nowhere near meeting this goal. Southern Californians continue to inhale toxic soot. 

    Take action below -- urge the EPA to intervene and reclassify the South Coast Air Basin as noncompliant to protect the public health and wildlife of Southern California. 

  • Tell Our Reps: Don't Play Politics With Our Health and Environment
    Members of the House of Representatives are trying to gut environmental protections with budget riders-- don't let them.
    Bookmark and Share

    Certain members of the House of Representatives have stuck more than 20 provisions into this year's budget that, if signed into law, will have devastating consequences on our environment.

    Funding legislation that the American public urgently needs should not be held hostage by irrelevant and harmful riders.

    These dangerous provisions could block efforts to fight climate change and weaken our most important environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act -- and the bill also cuts the EPA's budget by nearly 10 percent.

    Interior Secretary Jewell has already denounced this horrible plan -- let's join her in urging the House to reject the bill until all nongermane and environmentally harmful language is removed.

  • Tell Ace and True Value to Stop Selling Bee-killing Pesticides
    Bookmark and Share

    With study after study piling up, the science is clear on neonicotinoids: These pesticides are one of the leading causes of recent bee die-offs, and national retailers like Ace Hardware and True Value that continue to sell neonicotinoid-treated plants and seeds are peddling dangerous toxins.

    Research shows that even when neonics don't kill bees outright, they can make them more vulnerable to diseases and other stressors. Neonics are systemic insecticides, so all parts of plants treated with them are toxic to our pollinators, including the pollen.

    Recently, Ace expressed that it's "willing to move away" from selling these chemicals, but it has refused to commit to any concrete action as Lowe's Home Improvement, BJ's Wholesale Club and other garden retailers have done.

    Take action below -- tell Ace and True Value that they must remove all products with neonicotinoids from their shelves now.

  • Protect Grand Canyon From Uranium Mining

    Colorado River, Grand CanyonThe Grand Canyon is sacred to many Native American tribes and cherished by all Americans, but the Canadian company Energy Fuels is jeopardizing this national treasure by mining the area's uranium for private profit -- a move that threatens the canyon and its seeps and springs with permanent radiological contamination.

    In 2012, the Secretary of the Interior issued a 20-year ban on all new uranium claims around Grand Canyon National Park, but mines that opened prior to that decision were exempt from the rules. As a result, old mines continue to operate based on outdated permits and obsolete environmental reviews from more than 30 years ago. This is unacceptable.

    That's why the Center for Biological Diversity is now asking the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service to update their current rules for uranium mines on public lands to require more thorough environmental review, groundwater monitoring and inspections, as well as more limited permitting and clear deadlines for when to begin reclamation once a mine is closed.

    Take action below -- sign our petition to protect the Grand Canyon from uranium mining.

  • Stop the Attacks on the Endangered Species Act
    President Obama
    Bookmark and Share

    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.

  • The Dirtiest Deal You've Never Heard Of
    Democracy protest
    Bookmark and Share

    On Wednesday, June 3, U.S. activist groups representing a broad range of interests are coordinating a massive call-in to Congress to stop a disastrous bill that would "fast track" international trade deals, tip the scales in favor of multinational corporations and cut the public out of decision-making.

    Please make a quick call to your representative to stop this now.

    The specter behind "fast track" is the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- a proposed trade agreement between the United States and 11 other countries, meant to counter China's rising economic influence. Foreign corporations don't want to be held accountable to the American public or U.S. Congress, so they're trying to fast-track highly controversial decisions. This is not how democracy works.

    There are many things wrong with fast-track, but one concrete way that it could affect you or someone you know is by bringing fracking to more U.S. communities. One of TPP's main goals is to ramp up U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas to Asia. That fracked gas could come from your town -- and your town could be sued under this trade deal if it tried to protect itself from this toxic practice.

    Please call your representative now to stop this dangerous deal in its tracks.

    Here's a sample script for your call. Type in your ZIP code to get your representative's phone number.

    Hi, my name is ______, and I live in ______. I'm calling to urge you to reject all legislation granting "fast track" trading authority. The proposal that just passed the Senate tips the scales in favor of multinational corporations, cuts the public out of decision-making and strips Congress' power to make crucial amendments to highly controversial deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. At stake are a host of U.S. laws which could be negated under this trade deal.

  • Stop BLM's Plan to Double Off-road Traffic in West Mojave
    Mojave fringe-toed lizard
    Bookmark and Share

    A recent Bureau of Land Management proposal to fully double off-road vehicle miles in the western Mojave Desert is as outrageous as it sounds. The agency's plan allots 10,428 miles to roads for dirt bikes and four-wheelers -- the distance between Alaska and Tierra Del Fuego in South America -- when what the area needs is fewer routes, not more.

    More ORV routes will further degrade desert streams, increase soil erosion and worsen air quality problems. And these routes will tear up habitat used by imperiled wildlife such as desert tortoises, Mojave fringe-toed lizards and Lane Mountain milkvetch.

    A 2005 court order specifically requires BLM to apply minimization criteria when designating routes, but the agency's draft plan fails on all accounts.

    Act now to tell BLM to protect this fragile country full of rare wildlife, silence and stark beauty -- not turn it into a noisy and polluted ORV free-for-all.

  • 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.   

  • Tell @Potus: #LeadthePack, Save America's Wolves

    #LeadThePackAmerica’s wolves are at a critical point. Although they’ve been brought back from the brink of extinction, wolves in the lower 48 states today occupy less than 10 percent of their historic range.

    And yet politicians are gunning for wolves once again, eager to abandon 40 years’ of wolf recovery and return to an era of hunting, trapping and cruel persecution.

    It’s time for President Obama to stand up for America’s wolves.
    Tell him today to reject any plan to strip Endangered Species Act protections. We’ve come too far to turn our backs on these incredible animals.

    Send the three Tweets below to President Obama and the White House, then sign our petition calling on the President to #LeadthePack and protect America's wolves.

    • .@Potus: #LeadthePack:! Protect America’s #Wolves:
    • Urge @Potus and @WhiteHouse to #LeadthePack and protect our #wolves:
    • Hey @Potus: I love America's #Wolves! #LeadthePack and keep them protected:

  • Save Our Snakes From Senseless Slaughter
    Eastern diamondback rattlesnake
    Bookmark and Share

    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 Congress: Don't Trash Our Borderlands
    U.S. Border Patrol in Arizona
    Bookmark and Share

    After the Dept. of Homeland Security invoked the REAL ID Act of 2005 to waive dozens of environmental laws and speed construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, the result set a dangerous precedent.

    Hundreds of miles of the border were blocked off with little or no environmental review -- and massive problems with erosion and flooding ensued, as did as a total breakdown in normal movement for the area's wildlife.

    Unfortunately some of our nation's elected leaders weren't paying attention. And now Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) are leading the charge to expand this shortsighted and disastrous waiver authority to include all laws with regard to all border-security activities on all public lands in Arizona. If they have their way, the Border Patrol will be allowed to run roughshod all over our national parks, forests, monuments and wildlife refuges.

    This harmful waiver is completely unnecessary, since Border Patrol already has full access to these lands and has stated publicly that it doesn't need this waiver authority.

    Take action below -- urge Congress to oppose any legislation that would surrender the real treasures of our wild borderlands to the fleeting illusion of border security.

  • 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.

  • Tell Idaho: Educate Kids, Don't Slaughter Wolves
    Gray wolf
    Bookmark and Share

    Idaho contains essential habitat for wolves, but Governor Butch Otter wants to wipe them out. He's already allocated $400,000 to kill wolves, and now his "Wolf Depredation Control Board" is asking for more at the same time that budgets have been slashed in Idaho's schools.

    Tell Butch Otter to spend Idaho's taxpayer money on schools, not wolf slaughter. No wolf should die just for stepping into Idaho. Wolves deserve a home throughout their natural habitat, and Idaho's kids deserve the future a solid education brings.

    Take action now and sign our petition below calling on Gov. Butch Otter to prioritize kids over wolf killing.

    You can also join the fight with a donation to the Wolf Defense Fund.

  • Free Global Climate Leader Jailed in Home Country

    Mohamed NasheedOne of the leaders in the global movement for climate justice has just been arrested and imprisoned in his home country. We need your help to free him.

    Mohamed Nasheed was elected president of the Maldives in 2008 in the first free and fair election following 30 years of authoritarian rule. The following year he led the heroic fight for a fair, ambitious and binding climate treaty at the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen. He inspired millions through his eloquent entreaty for global action that would save his own tiny island nation from rising seas and the rest of the world from climate disaster.

    As president, Nasheed pledged to make his country carbon neutral by 2020, held a cabinet meeting underwater in scuba gear to draw attention to the climate crisis, and has worked tirelessly to address the coming mass displacement of people due to rising seas and climate disruption.

    President Nasheed was forced from office in 2012 by the prior authoritarian regime, and last weekend he was violently arrested and jailed on political charges.

    Please sign the petition below to urge Maldives' current president Yameen Abdul Gayoom to immediately release Nasheed.

  • Stop the New NRA Attack on Wildlife
    Bookmark and Share

    For the third consecutive year, the NRA has gotten the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus to introduce legislation aimed at preventing the EPA from doing its job by regulating lead that kills wildlife.

    Toxic lead has been sensibly removed from water pipes, gasoline, paint and other sources dangerous to people -- but tons of spent lead from hunting and fishing gear are still left in the wild every year, where they enter the food chain and exact a deadly toll.

    Lead ammo also poses serious health risks to humans who consume wild game riddled with lead-shot. Since effective, nontoxic bullets, shot and fishing weights are now widely available and comparable in price to lead, more than 250 organizations in 40 states are calling on the EPA to get the lead out.

    Don't let the NRA's politics of fear undercut our environmental laws.

    Take action below -- help us protect eagles, falcons, loons, cranes, condors and people from unnecessary lead poisoning by urging your representatives to stop the cruel and misguided "Sportsmen's Act."

  • Tell Congress: Don't Mess With Wolf Recovery
    Gray wolves
    Bookmark and Share

    Congressional efforts are now underway to remove federal protections from wolves in Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan -- in direct contravention of two recent federal court orders as well as the Endangered Species Act.

    Indeed H.R. 884 and H.R. 843 threaten to reopen the door to widespread slaughter of these intelligent, social animals -- killing that could include more trophy hunts and cruel traps. We can't let these bills pass.

    Deciding when to remove Endangered Species Act protections is not the role of politicians, and so these bills would set a dangerous precedent and weaken this bedrock environmental law. Wolves would lose the Act's lifesaving protections for no reason other than being unpopular with special interests and extremists.

    Take action below -- tell Congress to vote no on these anti-wolf bills and any other attempts to undermine science and the integrity of the Endangered Species Act.

    Then, if you can, help support our work by donating to our Wolf Defense Fund.

  • Make Florida Frack-free
    Salmon spawning
    Bookmark and Share

    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.

    The Florida state 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.

  • Tell Congress: Keep Your Hands Off Our Wolves
    Gray wolf
    Bookmark and Share

    The Endangered Species Act requires science-based standards for adding or removing protections from a particular species, but recently Congress has used must-pass bills to dodge this process. These bills include unconnected provisions called riders that get forced through because the main legislation needs to be passed -- and now Congress has set its sights on gray wolves.

    Lawmakers are attempting to strip wolves of their protections via this underhanded, anti-democratic process. We need your help to stop it.

    Judges have repeatedly overturned rules stripping wolves of their federal protection -- with only 5 percent of suitable wolf habitat currently occupied and almost constant threats to their safety, these apex predators still desperately need the Act's protection to survive.

    In places where wolves don't have protection, like Idaho and Montana, ruthless killing is decimating their populations. And these wolves lost protection in 2011 because of a rider attached to a budget bill -- we can't let that happen to the rest of America's wolves.

    Act now: Use the form below to tell Congress not to strip Endangered Species Act protection from wolves.

  • Tell Secretary Kerry: Support Zero by 2050
    Secretary of State John Kerry
    Bookmark and Share

    An exciting new idea to protect our planet from global warming is gathering steam. At the recent United Nations climate talks in Peru, negotiators agreed to consider ending virtually all fossil fuel use by 2050.

    This breakthrough proposal could help preserve a livable climate, but the alternative is grim: A recent U.N. report warned that global warming will cause mass wildlife extinctions and inflict terrible suffering on the world's poorest populations.

    That's why we need an international agreement that keeps most dirty fossil fuels in the ground and helps developing nations embrace a clean-energy economy.

    Dozens of countries support this revolutionary proposal, but the United States is holding back. As we move toward the Paris climate summit next year, U.S. negotiators -- led by Secretary of State John Kerry -- must take a strong stance against fossil fuels.

    Please take action to urge Secretary Kerry to support the "zero by 2050" plan.

  • Tell the U.S. Senate: Don't Fast-track Fracking
    Walrus and calf
    Bookmark and Share

    The U.S. is gearing up for a boom in LNG exports -- unless we work to stop it.

    The Senate is considering a bill that could green-light LNG export projects without proper consideration of the hazardous impacts.

    An expansion of LNG means an expansion of fracking -- this threatens our climate with potent methane emissions and puts our communities at risk.

    Stand up for the climate and our communities -- tell the Senate to vote "no" on this horrible bill.

  • Save Salamanders From a Skin-eating Fungus
    Blue Ridge two-lined salamander
    Bookmark and Share

    Whether black-bellied or red-backed, blue- or white-spotted, gray-cheeked or four-toed, all of America's nearly 200 salamander species now face a new threat with potentially disastrous consequences.

    A deadly skin-eating fungus called Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (literally "devouring salamanders"), or Bsal, is spreading like wildfire in Europe and could soon jump to the United States through the pet trade.

    With a mortality rate of 96 percent, the new fungus has practically wiped out fire salamanders in the Netherlands. Lab tests show that the fungus is fatal to American salamanders, and infected salamanders have been documented in the pet trade.

    Once the disease enters wild populations, it'll be near-impossible to stop.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has the power to prevent this invasion. Under the Lacey Act, the agency can suspend the import of all salamanders unless screened with a DNA test.

    Take action below -- urge the Service to protect our salamanders from this disease and avoid the same terrible fate that has ravaged our frogs and bats.

  • Protect Nemo From Warming Oceans
    Protect Nemo From Warming Oceans
    Bookmark and Share

    The orange clownfish spends nearly its entire life protected within anemones on coral reefs. Warming and acidifying oceans resulting from our carbon dioxide pollution are destroying the clownfish's anemone and coral reef habitat.

    What's more, ocean acidification scrambles the clownfish's senses. Acidic waters damage the hearing and smell of young fish, causing them to become attracted to their predators and unable to find their coral reef homes.

    The federal government is considering protecting the orange clownfish under the Endangered Species Act.
    These protections would help reduce dangers to the clownfish and would encourage government action to fight climate change.

    Please sign the petition below urging the government to protect the orange clownfish from climate change and other threats.

  • Protect Alaska's Walruses From Dirty Oil Drilling and Global Warming
    Walrus and calf
    Bookmark and Share

    Walrus moms and their babies spend all year living on the sea ice off Alaska. But global warming is melting that ice and forcing them to come to shore.

    Walrus babies face greater risks on land because they are vulnerable to being trampled to death in stampedes and attacked by predators. In 2007, 3,000 to 4,000 young walruses perished after being crushed to death in stampedes.

    Walruses also face a serious threat from big oil companies that want to open up offshore drilling in the walrus's ocean home off Alaska. This drilling will put walruses at risk from oil spills and worsen the global warming pollution that is destroying the sea ice they need for survival.

    The federal government is considering giving walruses increased protections under the Endangered Species Act that would help reduce dangers to walruses and encourage government action to fight global warming.

    Please sign the petition below asking the government to protect the walrus as an endangered species and put a permanent halt to offshore drilling off Alaska.

  • Keep Dangerous Oil Trains Out of California
    Oil train protest
    Bookmark and Share

    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
    Bookmark and Share

    Take the Pledge

    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.

    In that case, 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!

  • Help Save Utah's Greater Canyonlands
    Labyrinth Canyon, Utah
    Bookmark and Share

    When Franklin Roosevelt first proposed to protect Utah's canyon country in 1936, he envisioned a 4.5-million-acre area. But when Congress finally designated Canyonlands National Park in 1964, political pressure had whittled it down to just 257,000 acres.

    Today much of the land around Canyonlands is still wild. Narrow canyons cradle endangered species like southwestern willow flycatchers and yellow-billed cuckoos. Four rivers sustain highly endangered fish and provide water to 40 million Americans. And stark geology and sacred American Indian sites reveal a deep history. 

    But the march of industrialization is at the doorstep. Rampant fossil fuel development, mining and uncontrolled ORV use are pushing farther and farther into these remote wildlands, threatening to rob them of their wildness.

    With the stroke of a pen, President Obama can enact long-overdue protections for this region by designating a 1.8-million-acre Greater Canyonlands National Monument -- but only if the public convinces him to do so. 

    Take action below -- urge Obama to fulfill Roosevelt's vision and forever protect these canyonlands.

  • Don't Let Cows Run Elk Out of Our Parks
    Tule elk
    Bookmark and Share

    For the 2.5 million people who visit California's Point Reyes National Seashore every year, a major attraction is the chance to catch sight of the area's magnificent tule elk, reintroduced in 1978 after being wiped out more than a century before.

    But now ranchers who enjoy subsidized grazing leases in the park are targeting the elk for eating grass they believe rightly belongs to their cattle -- and they're even characterizing the native elk as "invasive."

    Ranchers are pressuring the National Park Service to remove elk or build large fences to keep them out of ranching areas, and supposedly "green" politicians such as Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey and Northern California Congressman Jared Huffman are joining them.

    The manufactured elk controversy comes as the Park Service is initiating a planning process for the 18,000 acres of cattle ranches in the park, and considering extending ranching leases for up to 20 years.

    Tell the Park Service and politicians that tule elk play an important role in the ecology of Point Reyes National Seashore and free-ranging elk should stay on our public parklands.

  • Tell Governor Inslee to Protect Washington's Wolves
    Gray wolf
    Bookmark and Share

    Washington's state wolf plan was adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2011 after being assembled over five years to incorporate the views of thousands of stakeholders and scientists. This plan is central to the state's efforts to recover wolves and minimize conflicts -- especially with commercial livestock operators, often opposed to wolf recovery.

    But the plan keeps being undermined by the commission and the state wildlife agency -- who have adopted new rules to expand who can kill wolves and under what circumstances.

    This summer the Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned the commission to adopt rules that would make key parts of the wolf plan enforceable. We asked for guidelines that ensure wolves are only killed when depredating livestock has become a chronic problem and that require ranchers to take nonlethal steps to protect their livestock before any wolf-caused losses could result in a wolf being killed. But on Aug. 1, the commission denied our petition.

    Now we're taking our case to the governor.

    Please join us and take action now to urge Governor Jay Inslee to protect wolves with strong, legally enforceable rules that honor the state's wolf plan.

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

    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 either 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
    Bookmark and Share

    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.

  • Turn Down the Heat for Flying Squirrels
    Air pollution
    Bookmark and Share

    The rare, truffle-eating flying squirrel of Southern California's mountains is in trouble.

    Its forest habitat is moving upslope as temperatures warm and drier conditions threaten its truffle food supply, which thrives in wet, cool conditions. The San Bernardino flying squirrel has already disappeared from one of the two mountain ranges it lives in near Los Angeles.

    The federal government is considering protecting these flying squirrels as an endangered species
    , reducing the dangers they face from forest habitat destruction and encouraging government action to fight climate change.

    If these amazing flying squirrels don't get Endangered Species Act protection, global warming could push them out of their last mountain refuge.

    Please sign the petition below urging the government to protect these flying squirrels from the climate crisis and other threats.

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

    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.

  • Fight Sea-level Rise: Cut Carbon Pollution
    Hurricane Sandy
    Bookmark and Share

    Hurricane Sandy's lethal walls of water inflicted horrific devastation on New York and New Jersey in 2012. But future storms could be even deadlier because of higher ocean levels caused by manmade climate change
    Rising oceans pose a deadly threat to America's coastal communities. As global warming accelerates, sea-level rise increases the damage and danger from flooding and storm surges.

    If the climate crisis is left unchecked, we could suffer as much as 4 feet of sea-level rise and 10 degrees Fahrenheit of warming by century's end. And wildlife is also at risk: A recent analysis found that sea-level rise threatens hundreds of U.S. animal species.

    But it's not too late to protect our coastal communities if we join together and take immediate action. The science is clear: We need to move much more quickly to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

    Please urge President Obama to make the ambitious carbon pollution cuts we need to fight global warming and sea-level rise.

  • Don’t Suppress Climate Science
    Air pollution
    Bookmark and Share

    The U.S. House of Representatives just approved the military's new budget -- but included an amendment requiring the Department of Defense to completely ignore climate science.

    Military experts recently deemed climate change a national security threat, and the Pentagon is starting to work toward addressing the crisis.

    If climate deniers get their way, this amendment could undermine those efforts.

    Take action below -- tell Congress and the president not to suppress the science of climate change and let the military fight back.

  • President Obama, Use the Clean Air Act to Solve the Climate Crisis
    Air pollution
    Bookmark and Share

    The science is clear: We need deep and rapid carbon pollution reductions if we want to avoid catastrophic, irreversible climate change.

    The president has promised to act boldly in the face of congressional gridlock -- and the Clean Air Act empowers him to fight climate change without Congress.

    80 U.S. communities have passed resolutions urging the president to ambitiously employ this cornerstone law to cut our greenhouse gas emissions.

    Tell the president to urgently implement the Clean Air Act.

  • President Obama, Listen to the Science and Protect Our Climate
    Flooding, North Dakota
    Bookmark and Share

    The president's National Climate Assessment makes it clear that climate change could wreak devastation on our infrastructure, health, food supply, wildlife and economy.

    We can expect sea-level rise of 4 feet or more, skyrocketing temperatures, declines of major crop yields
    , and extinction of endangered species.

    Military researchers recently reported that climate change poses a threat to our national security, as climate disruption will fuel conflicts and displace people around the world.

    It's good that the president is paying attention to the science — but now he must act accordingly. Tell him to take bold, not fearful action to protect our climate.

  • Help Preserve the Grand Canyon's Watershed
    Greater Grand Canyon watershed
    Bookmark and Share

    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 Alaska's Bearded Seals and Our Climate
    Dont fast-track a fracking frenzy
    Bookmark and Share

    Bearded seals live in icy Arctic oceans and they use their long, lush mustaches to find clams on the seafloor. They desperately need Arctic sea ice floes for giving birth and raising their pups. That sea ice is rapidly disappearing because of global warming.

    Fortunately, the federal government recently gave bearded seals protections as an endangered species because global warming is rapidly melting their sea-ice nurseries. These protections will help reduce dangers to the seals and drive government action to fight climate change.

    Unfortunately, the state of Alaska is working to block these critical protections.

    Please sign the petition below urging the state of Alaska to stop standing in the way of protecting the bearded seal as an endangered species.

  • 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 the end of the century.

    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.

  • Reveal the Truth About Fracking Pollution
    Fracking flavored water
    Bookmark and Share

    Over the past few years the EPA began studying water contamination in three fracked communities in Parker County, Texas; Dimock, Pennsylvania; and Pavilion, Wyoming.

    Despite evidence showing a direct link between fracking operations and water contamination EPA officials then abandoned the investigations -- and the people suffering from the harmful impacts of fracking.

    Remind the EPA that its job is to protect the American people, not oil and gas companies.

    Tell the agency to reopen its crucial investigations into water contamination in fracked communities.

  • Stop Tar Sands Extraction in Utah
    Athabasca oil sands
    Bookmark and Share

    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.

  • Save Penguins and Our Climate
    Aircraft pollution
    Bookmark and Share

    The unique emperor penguin is being driven extinct by the melting of sea ice in Antarctica. Star of "March of the Penguins" and "Happy Feet," this charismatic bird needs sea-ice habitat to raise its chicks.

    The federal government is considering protecting this penguin as an "endangered species" because global warming is melting its icy Antarctic home. This protection will help protect the penguin from harm and encourage government action to fight climate change.

    Slowing climate change to prevent the melting of ice sheets in Antarctica is critical to maintaining a safe climate.

    Please sign the petition below urging the government to protect the emperor penguin from climate change.

  • Tell McDonald's: Billions of Burgers Are Bad for Our Future
    Bookmark and Share

    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.

  • Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Airplanes
    Aircraft pollution
    Bookmark and Share

    Airplanes are a fast and convenient way to travel, but they also produce large and growing amounts of greenhouse pollution. Sign the petition below to urge airlines to protect the climate.

    Alarmingly, aircraft emissions are expected to more than triple by mid-century.

    But new research shows that dramatic pollution reductions are clearly possible today.

    American Airlines and United Airlines are major polluters and have also opposed government rules to cut greenhouse gas pollution.

    Tell American and United: Action is needed now to cut greenhouse pollution from air travel.

  • Save Wolves, Old-Growth Forests and Our Climate
    Polar bear with cubs

    A unique Alaskan wolf species is being driven extinct by the clearcutting of its old-growth forest home. These same forests trap enormous amounts of carbon, slowing down global warming.

    The federal government is considering listing this wolf as an "endangered species" to save it from reckless logging and hunting. This will also help slow global warming.

    Alaska is home to some of the last, best old-growth forest on Earth. By saving the forest we can save our climate too.

    Please sign the petition below urging the government to protect the wolf and its old-growth forest home.

  • 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

    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.

  • Don't Outlaw Climate Science
    Flooding in North Carolina

    Flooding and storm surges endanger people in coastal communities, and climate change ramps up the risk by raising sea levels.

    We need our leaders to make decisions about our future based on facts.

    But North Carolina actually passed a law banning the use of climate science on sea-level rise in rules for coastal protection.

    Don't let other states go the way of North Carolina. Sign the petition to overturn this anti-science law.

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

    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

    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.

  • Tell Congress: Stop the Fracking Frenzy
    San Joaquin kit fox
    Bookmark and Share

    A disastrous trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being negotiated behind closed doors. If passed, it could severely hinder our efforts to stop fracking, the dangerous fossil fuel extraction technique that threatens public health, pollutes our environment, contributes to global warming and hurts wildlife, from California condors to San Joaquin kit foxes.

    The TPP would allow corporations to sue if they think their profits are in jeopardy -- even if the challenge to the company comes from a citizen-approved ban on fracking.

    Just last year one enterprise sued Canada for $250 million after the people of Quebec passed a moratorium on fracking under the St. Lawrence River. We can't let corporations run roughshod over local communities' efforts to protect their health and environment from this toxic practice.

    The trade deal could also encourage an expansion of dangerous fracking for shale gas by automatically approving future exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas to all parties to the agreement.

    President Obama has already received "fast-track" approval of the TPP from Congress, but we have to make sure the final agreement is not jammed through and passed as currently drafted.

    Take action now and urge your elected officials to vote no on the TPP and fracking.

  • Don't Let Big Oil Frack California's Coast
    Bookmark and Share

    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
    Bookmark and Share

    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 the Center for Biological Diversity's petition below and tell Governor Jerry Brown to ban the import and sale of bullfrogs in California. 

  • Tell Congress -- Get Poisonous Lead out of Hunting Ammo
    California condor
    Bookmark and Share

    We've gotten lead out of gasoline and paint. Now it's time to get the lead out of hunting ammunition.

    Every year millions of animals -- including endangered condors and bald eagles, as well as more than 130 other wildlife species -- are poisoned when they eat spent lead shot or lead fragments from ammunition that's been used to kill wild game. Hunters and their families are also put at risk if they eat game shot with lead ammo.

    It's time for the federal government to act.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can address these preventable deaths, just as they did in the 1980s with lead-free ammo for hunting migratory birds. Effective, nontoxic bullets and shot are widely available and in many cases are now comparable in price to lead -- there's simply no reason to continue using toxic ammo for hunting when it ends up in the food chain. And yet, right now, Congress is set to pass dangerous riders attached to critical funding bills that would prevent the regulation of lead ammunition under any and all federal laws.

    The NRA has been fighting common-sense measures to protect wildlife from lead ammunition. But if we're going to save birds and other animals from lead poisoning, we must set aside politics and do what's right for America's wildlife.

    Use the form below to tell Congress to get poisonous lead out of hunting ammunition.

  • Stop Catching Wild Turtles for Turtle Races
    Eastern box turtle
    Bookmark and Share

    Turtles are dying off at an alarming pace -- rates never seen before -- under terrible 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 turtle populations every year -- thousands of turtles are removed from the wild and raced at turtle races held in small towns across the country.

    It’s easy to believe little harm is done when turtles caught, then released back into the wild after the 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 caused 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.

    Please take action now: Sign the petition below and ask communities to stop using wild-caught turtles in their turtle races.

  • Protect Appalachia from Destructive Mountaintop Removal
    Toxic runoff from mountaintop removal mining
    Bookmark and Share

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

    Right now Congress has the opportunity 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.

    A new bill in Congress would protect Appalachia from mountaintop removal and ensure that human health and endangered species aren't sacrificed for the coal industry's profit. Please take action now to 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
    Bookmark and Share

    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 a clean and renewable energy future.

    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.

  • Save Tesla Park From ORV Destruction
    Tule elk
    Bookmark and Share

    California's ORV division has never addressed the serious environmental damage to soil, water quality, vegetation and endangered species at Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area, a moonscape of completely eroded hills. Yet the agency now wants to let intensive ORV use tear up Alameda-Tesla purchase lands.

    Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area is updating its general plan and will be preparing an "environmental impact report," but its notice for the environmental review leaves out any mention of expanding destructive ORV use. It likewise fails to describe the important biological resources in the Tesla area that would be destroyed -- or any alternative uses for the park.

    The Center for Biological Diversity has joined with the Friends of Tesla Park to preserve the Tesla lands as a nonmotorized park and low-impact recreation area, to save its historic and natural resources.

    Please use the form below to protect Tesla from being pulverized by ORVs.

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

    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, 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
    Bookmark and Share

    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

    Bookmark and Share

    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

    Bookmark and Share

    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 June 2011. After years of catching Pacific bluefin tuna before they reproduced, now Pacific 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

    Bookmark and Share

    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, 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 take one minute to 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.

  • Help Save Okinawa Dugong and Coral Reef Ecosystem

    Bookmark and Share

    Okinawa is home to ecologically significant coral reefs that support more than 1,000 species of reef fish, marine mammals, and sea turtles. Creatures like the highly imperiled dugong, a critically endangered and culturally treasured animal, rely on these reefs for their survival.

    But the U.S. government is planning to build a new American military base atop a healthy coral reef that will likely destroy the diverse array of animal life the reef supports, including at least nine species threatened with extinction. Okinawa's coral reefs are already threatened by global warming and pollution: More than half have disappeared over the past decade. We must protect the reef and its inhabitants.

    American, Japanese, and international organizations have spoken out for this critical area and against the potential harm that the new military base would cause. Back in 1997, Japan's Mammalogical Society placed the mighty dugong, a distant relative of the manatee, on its "Red List of Mammals," estimating the population in Okinawa to be critically endangered. Our own Endangered Species Act lists the dugong and three sea turtles affected by the project as endangered or threatened. The U.S. government's Marine Mammals Commission has weighed in with fears that the project would be a serious threat to the dugong and other animals' survival, and the World Conservation Union's dugong specialists have expressed similar concerns.

    Construction of the offshore facility will devastate the marine environment and have dramatic consequences for oceangoing birds and coastal species as well. In addition to destruction of the coral reef off the coast of Henoko village, the planned base will deplete essential freshwater supplies, increase the human population in sensitive areas, and encourage more environmentally harmful development -- causing irreversible ecological damage to one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth. The U.S. government must abandon this plan.

    Environmental groups from both sides of the Pacific Ocean -- the Center for Biological Diversity and the Turtle Island Restoration Network in the United States and Dugong Network Okinawa, Save the Dugong Foundation, Committee Against Heliport Construction/Save Life Society, and the Japan Environmental Lawyers Federation in Japan -- have filed a lawsuit in federal district court in San Francisco 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 its allies are now back in court fighting to end to the construction.

    We need your help to speak out. Please take a minute to send the letter below to President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Ambassador to Japan John Roos.