Center for Biological Diversity

Current Actions

  • Protect California's Wildlife From Exotic Bullfrogs, Turtles

    Invasive species are widely recognized as one of the leading threats to native wildlife -- and while still important in the places where they belong, exotic bullfrogs, red-eared sliders and softshell turtles are causing serious problems in California.

    Bullfrogs eat and outcompete endangered species like California tiger salamanders and Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs, and they've spread the deadly chytrid fungus, which is wiping out frog populations around the world. Red-eared sliders and softshell turtles are also outcompeting California's western pond turtles and have sent them into an extinction spiral.   

    How did these invasive species end up in the state? Millions of bullfrogs and hundreds of thousands of turtles are being brought into California each year, mostly for the food and pet trades. Some of these animals escape or are intentionally set free and become established in the wild, where their invasion has devastating consequences.

    Fortunately, this may change soon. At its next meeting the California Fish and Game Commission will consider adding exotic bullfrogs and turtles to its list of restricted species, effectively ending the import and sale of these destructive animals.

    Using the form on this page, tell the commission you support this move for the sake of our native wildlife.

  • Get Toxic Lead Out of Illinois State Parks
    Bald eagle

    Lead is an extremely toxic substance we've rightly removed from gasoline, paint and many other products. But unbelievably this dangerous heavy metal is still entering the food chain via lead hunting ammunition, which poisons wildlife and threatens human health.

    More than 4,000 tons of lead are shot into the environment every year in the United States. Animals that ingest spent lead ammunition or scavenge on contaminated carcasses can suffer for years from debilitating lead poisoning before dying painfully. And tiny lead fragments in game meat poison hunting families who eat what they shoot.

    That's why an Illinois state lawmaker has introduced a bill (S.B. 1985) that would prohibit lead ammo for hunting in state parks and natural areas. We need you to speak up for the health of families and wildlife in Illinois, including bald eagles.

    Using the form on this page, tell your elected officials you support this commonsense bill to get the lead out of Illinois state parks once and for all.

  • Help Nevada Lead the Way in Renewable Energy

    Since 2015 leading solar companies ceased operations in Nevada, laid off employees and left the sunny state because utility regulators decided to increase costs for all small commercial and residential solar customers. But a new bill proposed in the state legislature can help restore Nevada as a leader in renewable energy and bring the solar market back to life.

    Assembly Bill 206 would increase the state's renewable portfolio standard -- the percent of energy from renewable sources -- to 80 percent by 2040, making it one of the most ambitious standards in the country. We need you to tell your state reps to support this important bill and help Nevada reach its full potential.

    An ambitious RPS target alone, though, can't replace what Nevada lost when the utilities put the brakes on rooftop solar. A "distributed energy system" with many small sources connected to a grid is better than massive solar arrays in the desert because it prevents energy loss that occurs during long-distance transmission. A distributed system also creates local jobs, reduces land and water use, and allows more people to participate in the market. What the proposed RPS target can do is set the stage for Nevada officials to prioritize distributed solar over mega-projects that would threaten wildlife and public lands.

    Those with vested interests, of course, will be working to fight this bill and keep us hooked on fossil fuels -- so act now and urge your legislators to pass A.B. 206 and restore Nevada's place as a leader in clean, renewable energy.

  • Tell the EPA to Regulate Factory Farms
    Agricultural waste

    Industrial animal agriculture is one of the biggest threats to safe, clean water for people and wildlife. But although the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledges that factory farms are a leading source of water pollution, it allows most of them to operate without a Clean Water Act permit.

    Industrially raised meat, dairy and egg operations produce massive amounts of polluting waste. Pollutants in the waste include antibiotics, pesticides, hormones, nutrients, salts, heavy metals and other trace elements, as well as more than 150 pathogens associated with human health risks. Factory farms have already polluted more than 35,000 miles of our rivers, contaminated groundwater, and imperiled wetlands, lakes and estuaries -- as well as the species that depend on these habitats.

    Animal agriculture operations must be brought into the Clean Water Act permitting program to protect people, wildlife and the environment.

    Using the form on this page, urge the EPA to protect safe and clean water by regulating factory farms.

  • Stop Mojave Desert Water Grab
    Peninsular bighorn sheep

    The Cadiz Valley aquifer is an ancient groundwater basin in the heart of the Mojave Desert. It supplies water to springs and seeps in the Mojave Trails National Monument and Mojave National Preserve, sustaining wildlife including imperiled desert tortoises and bighorn sheep.

    Now the Cadiz Corporation wants to pump water from the aquifer to sell for a profit to municipalities along the Southern California coast. How much water is at stake? About 50,000 acre-feet of groundwater per year -- for the next 50 years. This dewatering will devastate a wide area of the Mojave, already struggling with climate change-induced drought.

    Cadiz Corporation is claiming that due to the location of the project, no federal environmental review for their project is needed. Hogwash.

    Please take a moment right now to tell Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and officials at the Bureau of Land Management to require a full, transparent environmental review of the Cadiz water project.

  • Save the Vaquita -- Boycott Mexican Shrimp

    Vaquitas -- the world's smallest and most endangered porpoises -- live only in Mexico's northern Gulf of California. After suffering decades of decline due to entanglement in shrimp-fishing gear, vaquitas are down to only 30 individuals left on Earth.

    Without swift, strong action by the Mexican government, they could disappear forever by 2020. But Mexico has failed to keep its promises to save the vaquita. Its latest measure -- a temporary, two-year ban on the use of vaquita-killing gillnets, established in April 2015 -- has been inadequate and unenforced. Vaquitas are still dying as gillnet use continues, in blatant violation of the ban. Vessels large and small, including shrimp boats, have been caught fishing illegally inside the vaquita refuge area, and the refuge is littered with illegal totoaba nets.

    It's time for us to put pressure on Mexico to do the right thing. Using the form on this page, tell Mexican officials that you'll be participating in an international boycott of Mexican shrimp until they step up enforcement and permanently ban all dangerous gillnets in vaquita habitat.

  • End Trophy Hunting of Nebraska's Rare Cougars

    Persecuted by hunters and trappers, Nebraska's cougar population was eradicated in the early 1900s. But over the past few decades, these majestic cats have begun a hopeful return to the state, establishing a population that now numbers a few dozen.

    Cougars have regained only the shakiest paw-hold in the state, but Nebraska's Game and Parks Commission is considering allowing trophy hunters to kill them. This could have catastrophic consequences for these rare cats, who are already at risk from vehicle collisions, habitat loss and poaching.

    The livestock industry likes to claim sport hunting of cougars will protect livestock. But state policy already allows cougars that threaten people or stock to be killed. And only one incident of a cougar preying on cattle has been documented in Nebraska since the return of these big cats to the state.

    Using the form on this page, ask your legislators to support Legislative Bill 448, which would repeal a 2012 statute authorizing the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to issue permits allowing trophy hunters to kill cougars.

    Please note: You must be a Nebraska resident to take action on this alert. Find other Center alerts here.

  • Speak Up for North Cascades Grizzly Bears
    Grizzly bear

    Good news for America's iconic grizzly bears: Federal agencies have released a new draft environmental impact statement and plan for restoring a healthy grizzly population in the North Cascades in Washington state. Grizzlies were once plentiful in this area, but now fewer than 10 may remain.

    Three of the proposed alternatives in the draft environmental impact statement lay out plans to augment the struggling North Cascades grizzly bear population under different timelines, in addition to a "no-action" alternative. But without agency action, grizzly bears in the North Cascades are at a serious risk of local extinction.

    Please take a moment to voice your support for the plan alternative that best ensures grizzly bear recovery in balance with the needs of people: Alternative C. With our help, grizzlies can return to the North Cascades.

    The agencies involved have specifically stated that they will not be taking bulk comments, so it's even more important than usual that you edit the sample letter we've provided to personalize it.

    In your own words, state why grizzly bear recovery in Washington state matters to you. Comments are due on April 28, so please take action today.

  • Speak Up for Endangered Cook Inlet Beluga Whales
    Beluga whales

    For more than two months, an offshore pipeline has been leaking large quantities of natural gas into Alaska's Cook Inlet. The leak threatens Cook Inlet beluga whales, a genetically distinct, endangered population that has dwindled to just 340 individuals.

    Yet the company that owns the pipeline, Hilcorp Alaska, has no intention of shutting down the leak until sea ice clears later this month. We must let state officials know that this is unacceptable.

    Natural gas pollution limits the amount of oxygen in the water, creating dead zones that hurt belugas, their prey, and other wildlife. The escaped gas -- which is 99 percent methane, a powerful greenhouse gas -- is entering not just the water but also the atmosphere, damaging our climate.

    The Center for Biological Diversity intends to sue Hilcorp over this leak for violating the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act and the Pipeline Safety Act.

    You can help by using the form on this page to demand that state and federal officials take immediate action to stop the leak.

  • Stop Trump's Plan to Frack California's Public Lands
    Oil drilling

    Four years ago a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity shut down oil leasing on federal lands in California. But now the Trump administration wants to restart leasing in the state and auction off our public lands to oil companies. The Bureau of Land Management is considering a plan to open up more than 700,000 acres in central and Northern California to new fossil fuel development, including fracking.

    A drilling and fracking boom will devastate these wildlands and neighboring communities and risk irreparable harm to our air and water. Opening up hundreds of thousands of acres to new oil and gas exploration is also terrible climate policy and will undercut our state's commitment to clean, renewable energy. Given the Trump administration's open hostility toward environmental protection, California's leadership on this front is absolutely crucial.

    Using the form on this page, send a letter to the BLM demanding that it stop leasing land to the oil industry.

  • Get Toxic Lead Out of Deer Shot in Minnesota
    Trumpeter swan

    Lead is an extremely toxic substance we've very sensibly removed from gasoline, paint and other products. But this dangerous heavy metal is still entering the food chain via lead hunting ammunition, which poisons wildlife and threatens human health.

    More than 4,000 tons of lead are shot into the environment every year in the United States. Animals that ingest spent lead shot or scavenge on contaminated carcasses can suffer for years from debilitating lead poisoning before dying painfully. And tiny lead fragments in venison can poison families who eat what they shoot.

    That's why a Minnesota lawmaker has introduced a bill (H.F. 1356) that would prohibit lead ammunition for deer hunting in Minnesota. We need you to speak up for the health of Minnesota's families and wildlife, including bald eagles and trumpeter swans.

    Using the form on this page, please tell your representative you support banning lead shot for deer hunting. (This action can only be taken by Minnesota residents.)

  • These 78 Orcas Need Your Help
    Southern Resident killer whales

    The National Marine Fisheries Service is at last seeking public input on a proposal from the Center for Biological Diversity and allies to create a protection zone for Southern Resident killer whales near Washington's San Juan Island. It's a key feeding area but is overrun by noisy boat traffic -- and that's disrupting the endangered whales' ability to communicate, hunt and rest.     

    Please join us in urging the feds to protect these famous orcas, who can be found each winter along the West Coast, from central California to southeast Alaska.

    The Southern Resident killer whale population has dropped to just 78 individuals and remains threatened by lack of food due to declining salmon runs, pollution and noise. A protection zone would be a huge break. Vessel traffic in the 10-square-mile area would be prohibited April 1 to Sept. 30, and there would be a "no wake" speed limit.

    Using the form on this page, urge the Fisheries Service to follow through with these protections near San Juan Island -- and remind the agency that it's also long overdue in safeguarding the orcas' extensive winter habitat.

  • Defend Texas and Oklahoma From More Fracking
    Fracking rig

    This June the Bureau of Land Management plans to auction off thousands of acres in Texas and Oklahoma for oil and gas drilling, and we need your help to stop it.

    Much is at stake: The auction will allow fracking beneath water supplies for Corpus Christi and Brenham, Texas. It'll increase the risk of new manmade earthquakes. And it'll require a massive amount of infrastructure -- new wells, pipelines, roads, wastewater pits and storage tanks -- that will threaten habitat for imperiled wildlife, from lesser prairie chickens and least terns to Arkansas River shiners.

    Last year public outcry forced the BLM to pull several parcels from its 2016 auction -- so we know officials are listening, which is good. Water supplies for Houston, Dallas, Corpus Christi and Brenham were spared. But now the agency is offering many of these same parcels again, plus more along the Canadian River and in the Black Kettle National Grassland.  

    Using the form on this page, urge the BLM, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Bureau of Reclamation to cancel this auction and protect our water, wildlife and communities from harm.

  • Tell Gov. Brown: Stop the Lost Valley Mega-dairy
    North Fork Umatilla River

    In October 2016 we asked you to join us in urging the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Oregon Department of Agriculture to deny a Clean Water Act permit to a 30,000-head mega-dairy in the Umatilla River basin.

    You responded in force to protect the state's water, public health and wildlife -- thank you. Unfortunately, state agencies are still heading down the disastrous path to approving this permit. It's up to us to push back even harder.

    Please write Gov. Kate Brown today urging her to stop the proposed Lost Valley Ranch.

    Thirty thousand cows will generate as much feces and urine as a medium-to-large city. This creates serious water-quality concerns for the Umatilla River basin, which supports an incredible range of wildlife -- including two kinds of fish protected under the Endangered Species Act (bull trout and summer steelhead).

    The developers of the mega-dairy also intend to withdraw approximately 890,000 gallons of water per day from the lower Umatilla River. Species already hurt by water withdrawal and diversions for agriculture, degraded water quality, and increased sedimentation will be placed at even higher risk.

    Using the form on this page, urge Gov. Brown to do everything in her power to stop the destructive Lost Valley Ranch mega-dairy.

  • Tell Ohio to Ban Commercial Turtle Trapping
    Snapping turtle

    Unregulated trapping of freshwater turtles is wreaking havoc on our native turtle populations in the South and Midwest. And Ohio, which allows unlimited commercial collection of softshell and common snapping turtles, is one of the worst offenders.

    That's why the Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in early 2017 to ban for-profit exploitation of the state's turtles.

    Please -- help us by sending an email to the agency supporting our petition.

    Freshwater turtles already face serious threats to their survival from habitat loss, toxic runoff and car traffic. They just can't afford to be trapped for captivity or meat. For years the Center has advocated for limits on turtle trapping -- and we've won lifesaving restrictions in states including Iowa, Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Now it's Ohio's turn to protect its heritage turtles.

    Using the form on this page, urge state officials to do the right thing by granting the Center's petition and banning commercial turtle trapping in Ohio.

  • Protect Appalachia From Mountaintop Removal
    Mountaintop removal

    Every day millions of pounds of explosives are detonated in Appalachia, blowing off the tops of mountains to expose seams of coal. Toxic dust billows into the air, and mining waste is dumped straight into streams, poisoning water for both people and wildlife.

    Communities near mountaintop-removal mining face significantly elevated rates of cancer, birth defects and major illness, including kidney, heart and respiratory disease. Mountaintop removal also threatens endangered fish, salamanders, bats, crayfish, and freshwater mussels found nowhere else on Earth.

    Fortunately a new bill in Congress aims to protect Appalachia from this extreme mining practice, ensuring that human health and endangered species won't be further sacrificed for the coal industry's profit.

    Using the form on this page, please contact your representatives and urge them to support the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act (H.R. 786), which would place a moratorium on new mountaintop-removal permits.

  • Two Ways to Fight the Atlantic Coast Pipeline
    Blue Ridge Mountains

    President Trump has declared the Atlantic Coast Pipeline one of his top 50 pet projects, but there are still important hurdles for his administration to clear, and this deal is far from done. That's why we need your help now speaking out.

    If this destructive project comes to pass, a 554-mile pipeline will carry natural gas from the fracking fields of West Virginia across the Blue Ridge Mountains to southeast Virginia and North Carolina. It will traverse more than 20 steep mountains, require clearcutting of our national forests, and cross more than 1,900 rivers and streams. It will also pass through areas susceptible to landslides and require the use of aerial pesticide spraying to keep the right of way clear of vegetation.

    On Dec. 30 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released the draft environmental impact statement for this pipeline, but unfortunately the analysis was severely inadequate.

    There are two things you can do to help:

    1) Using the form on this page, send a letter to FERC urging the agency to overhaul its draft environmental impact statement. It must complete a full review of all potential harms to our water, land and climate.

    2) Join us for a public hearing on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 5 p.m. to urge FERC to reject fracked gas and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The hearing will be at The Hilton Garden Inn in Suffolk. RSVP and get more details.

  • Protect California's Aquifers From Toxic Oil Waste
    Fracking-contaminated water

    Right now, if we don't speak up, scores of California's aquifers may become trash dumps for the oil industry.

    As you may know, state oil regulators at the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources aren't doing their job of protecting our water resources from oil-industry contamination. Roughly 1,650 wells continue to illegally inject toxic oil industry waste into groundwater aquifers. But instead of upholding the law and shutting down the wells, regulators are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to grant a pardon and waive the aquifer protections of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

    Your state senator sits on the Senate Natural Resources Committee, which has the power to hold these regulators to task. Those senators need to hear that this issue is important to you, and that the committee should hold oversight hearings of the negligent officials who have missed critical deadlines to shut down the illegal wells and continue to flout the law and common sense by sacrificing our underground water resources.

    Since the Trump EPA will never be the fierce environmental protector we need it to be, we must push hard to make sure our own state officials hold the line.

    Using the form on this page, please ask your senator to hold oversight hearings of state regulators and protect our aquifers from oil-industry contamination.

    And note -- this alert is only for California constituents with state senators on the Senate Natural Resources Committee. Find other Center alerts here.

  • BLM's Methane Rule Is Under Attack -- Take Action
    Methane gas flare

    On Feb. 3 industry-backed members of the U.S. House of Representatives continued their assault on the environment by using the Congressional Review Act to dismantle a common-sense rule that would cut dangerous pollution from the oil and gas sector.

    Each year oil and gas companies leak or deliberately vent millions of tons of methane into the atmosphere, compromising our health, environment and safety. Finalized in November, the Bureau of Land Management's methane rule was long overdue and promises to reduce harmful leakage from the oil and gas industry on our public lands.

    Methane is a climate pollutant that heats the atmosphere 87 times more than the same amount of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. And reductions of methane are essential to avoid catastrophic climate tipping points and comply with the U.S. commitment to limit global warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

    And yet unbelievably, members of Congress are now working together to legislatively undermine this law and the years of work that went into it with a rarely used tool that would repeal the rule and then prevent the BLM from adopting any rule that's "substantially the same."

    Tell your senators this is flatly unacceptable. They must oppose any attempts to roll back the BLM's crucial rule.

  • Tell Rep. Pearce: No Border Wall in New Mexico

    President Trump insists on a border wall that would halt the life-sustaining migration of wildlife into, and out of, the United States -- from jaguars and Mexican gray wolves to New Mexico ridge-nosed rattlesnakes. In return for killing off endangered animals, what would this massively expensive wall accomplish?

    Absolutely nothing, to judge from history and the miles of border wildlands where a destructive wall already exists. The structure will fail to stop desperate human migrants. It will drive vanishing species toward extinction. And it will stand as a monument to the senseless ruin of our beautiful Chihuahuan Desert -- unless we speak out.

    Please take a moment to call Congressman Steve Pearce at (202) 225-2365 and request that he tell Trump not to build a wall along New Mexico's border.

    We need Pearce's voice to counter Trump's crude and simplistic vision, and we need yours to show Pearce that this wall does not have local support.

    Here's a sample call script which you can paraphrase into your own words.

    Hi, my name is _______ and I'm calling from _______ .  I'd like to request that Representative Pearce tell President Trump not to build a wall along New Mexico's border. A wall would harm wildlife but would not increase border security. Also, I would like to hear back from him on specific actions he will take to ensure a wall doesn't get built and destroy our desert. Here's my contact information: _______. Thank you.

  • Stand in Solidarity Against the Dakota Access Pipeline
    Amazon Shine

    The Trump administration wants to fast-track the Dakota Access pipeline -- and has already directed the Army Corps of Engineers to abandon the full environmental review ordered by President Obama, urging the agency to speed through a final permit.

    If the pipeline's completed, oil spills and water and climate pollution will be inevitable, and the continued desecration of indigenous rights will be a tragedy. Now, more than ever, we need you to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe to demand a full environmental review and ultimately the end of this terrible proposal.

    If we succeed in gaining at least a closer look, this pipeline will be forced into a years-long review of impacts to drinking water, tribal rights and the climate -- a review that will buy time and open the door to other challenges.

    But that won't happen unless millions of Americans speak up. So please take action and demand a full review from the Army Corps today.

  • Protect Monterey County's Water From Toxic Oil Waste
    Pumpjack near almond orchards

    The next aquifers that California state oil regulators will consider exempting from protection under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act are in Monterey County, where last November voters passed Measure Z by an overwhelming margin. The new law couldn't be any clearer: It phases out wastewater disposal, bans fracking and prevents new wells from getting drilled. And yet unbelievably, the oil industry and regulators are now working together to undermine this law.

    This outrageous move would let the oil industry further contaminate an underground water source with dangerous chemicals. This is a blatant disregard of the will of the people.

    Now is the time to enforce Monterey County's fracking and wastewater-injection ban and protect our water from becoming a toxic garbage dump for this greedy industry.

    This shouldn't happen in Monterey County; this shouldn't happen anywhere. We know that there are many similar applications across the state. If the EPA approves these exemptions, scores of precious aquifers will be permanently contaminated.

    Since Trump's EPA won't be anything other than a rubberstamp for these applications, it's crucial that we demand that state regulators protect our water.  

    Act now to urge your state legislators and Governor Brown to hold regulators accountable and deny Big Oil's application to pollute.

  • Speak Up for California Wolves
    Wolf OR-25

    Although California wolves are protected as an endangered species under federal and state law, they’re at risk of accidental killing due to hunting and trapping of other species in their habitat.

    Please join the Center for Biological Diversity in urging wildlife officials to ban these practices in wolf territory in California.

    Since 2011, 11 wolves have been confirmed in northern California: pioneering wolf OR-7, the seven-member Shasta wolf family, the newly confirmed Lassen pair, and lone wolf OR-25, who occasionally visits from Oregon. But a significant threat to wolf recovery in California is a state law allowing unlimited hunting of coyotes in areas that have been designated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife as occupied or potential wolf territory. This creates the risk that a wolf might be mistaken for a coyote and shot, especially at night when visibility is low. In some circumstances state law also allows the use of lethal traps and snares to capture other species, but a wolf could just as easily fall victim to this deadly gear.

    To address this the Center and Project Coyote filed an administrative petition last year with the commission seeking a ban on nighttime hunting and use of lethal traps in current and prospective wolf territory. Now we’re urging the commission to move quickly on this petition to prevent unintentional wolf killings.

    Using the form on this page, urge California Fish and Game Commission members to ban night hunting of coyotes and the use of lethal traps and snares in wolf habitat.

    This letter also includes a request that the commission raise trapping fees so that California’s trapping program, which isn't self-funding as required by law, no longer requires support from taxpayers who may not want their taxes going toward unlimited hunting and trapping of wildlife.

  • Protect Minnesota's Boundary Waters From Copper Mining
    Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

    The 1.1-million-acre Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is America's most visited wilderness area. Located in the Rainy River watershed in northeastern Minnesota, it includes nearly 2,000 pristine lakes and more than 1,200 miles of canoe routes. It's also great for hiking, camping, skiing, dog sledding and ice fishing, and is home to magnificent wildlife like moose, Canada lynx and wolves. It's rich with prehistoric and historic American Indian settlements.

    Along with Voyageurs National Park and Quetico Provincial Park, the Boundary Waters is part of an international network of protected land and wilderness of well over 2 million acres.

    The mining company Twin Metals has been pursuing a massive copper mine within the Rainy River watershed, just upstream from the Boundary Waters. Fortunately the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service have halted any new mine proposals in the Rainy River watershed for the next two years due to the severe risk of perpetual, toxic water pollution.

    These agencies are now considering extending the temporary ban into a 20-year ban and are taking public comment and analyzing the risks and environmental impacts of copper mining in the Rainy River watershed. Here's where you come in.

    Using the form on this page, please tell these agencies to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from sulfide-ore copper mining.

  • Maryland: Ban Fracking Once and for All
    Fracking rig

    In 2015 Maryland successfully passed a moratorium on fracking, effectively ridding the state of this toxic practice for a two-year period.    

    Since then important new studies have confirmed the worst -- that fracking poses unacceptable risks to our wildlife, environment and health, including increased rates of asthma and premature births. And nationwide, fracking has been shown to increase risks of earthquakes, threats to clean air and water, and greenhouse gas emissions -- which is why states like New York have banned it outright.    

    Despite this evidence of harm, Governor Hogan's administration recently released new rules that lay the groundwork for future fracking in Maryland, and Hogan has said he fully intends to move forward with drilling as soon as the two-year moratorium expires this October. That means lawmakers have 90 days to pass a law to prevent the destruction of fracking.

    Act now to urge your legislators to pass a permanent ban on fracking in Maryland. That's the only way we can truly protect ourselves and our environment.

    And save this date: On March 2 we and allies will march on Annapolis to demand our state legislators pass the fracking ban. Stay tuned for more from us soon.

  • Wyoming: Help Stop This Anti-renewables Bill
    Wyoming wind farm

    Wyoming's energy future -- and your ability to choose renewable energy -- is in trouble.

    State Senator Larry Hicks recently introduced a bill that, if passed, would prohibit utilities from providing electricity from large-scale wind or solar by 2019, even if their customers want it or if it's the cheaper option. This would effectively stifle renewable energy growth and force you and your neighbors to keep paying for dirty fossil fuels. We can't let that happen.

    This bill would hurt Wyoming's climate, water and wildlife and could stop as many as 20,000 new and long-lasting jobs from coming to the state. It would prevent a reliable source of homegrown energy from thriving and helping the U.S. meet its energy independence goals.

    But you can do something to prevent this from happening. Urge your state representatives to vote no on this irresponsible, anti-renewables energy bill.

  • Stop Cruel Killing of Rays in Chesapeake Bay
    Cownose rays

    Each spring cownose rays migrate up the Atlantic Coast to Chesapeake Bay, seeking refuge for feeding and breeding. But what awaits them is unthinkably cruel: Gliding along the water's surface, these intelligent and gentle kite-shaped creatures make an easy target for bowfishers, who compete for prizes in gruesome killing contests.

    This blood sport must end. Rays are being shot, impaled with gaffs and even beaten to death with bats before getting tossed into dumpsters or the bay. Combined with fishing-net entanglements, these contests are causing serious harm to ray populations. Mothers produce just one pup a year.  

    Please ask your state legislators to cosponsor bills H.B. 211 and S.B. 268, which will ban the contests in Maryland once and for all.

    And if you can, come to a public hearing on Jan. 31 at 1 p.m. at the State House in Annapolis. Your voice is needed to support the new bills that will end these contests.

  • Help Save Oregon's Elliott State Forest
    Elliott State Forest

    With towering old trees and excellent habitat for endangered coho salmon, marbled murrelets and spotted owls, the Elliott State Forest is a priceless gem owned by all Oregonians. But whether you know its beauty already or hope to visit someday, now is the time to act if we're going to preserve this special place: The Elliott could be sold as soon as Feb. 14 when the Department of State Lands next meets.

    Headed by Governor Kate Brown, the department held an auction on Dec. 13 and received a single bid from a timber company. But fortunately the department decided to delay acceptance of this bid to consider an option for keeping at least part of the Elliott in public hands.

    There are three things you can do to help save this forest:

    1) Join us in Salem for a day of lobbying on behalf of the Elliott on Feb. 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You'll have a chance to meet with your elected officials and talk to them face to face about why you love the Elliott and why it deserves protection. Transportation will be provided from Portland, and various carpools will be forming throughout the state. Free lunch and a free T-shirt and training will also be provided at the start of the day. RSVP here.

    2) Whether or not you can attend the lobby day, use the form on this page to send a letter to the state land board and tell them you want the Elliott to remain protected and in public hands.

    3) Call the members of the land board and tell them that you don't want to see the Elliott sold to a private timber company. Here are the numbers to call: Gov. Kate Brown (503) 378-4582, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson (503) 986-1523, and State Treasurer Tobias Read (503) 378-4329.

  • Tell Congress: Don't Mess With Wolf Recovery
    Gray wolf

    U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) recently introduced a bill to strip federal protection from wolves in Wyoming, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. This bill is an ugly political ploy that will result in the deaths of thousands of wolves and do serious damage to one of the America's most important endangered species success stories.

    In response to lawsuits from the Center and allies, federal judges overturned a series of bad decisions to prematurely remove Endangered Species Act protection from wolves. But with language explicitly preventing further judicial review, the new bill would reverse these court orders, end federal wolf protections, and undermine the basic rule of law and the rights of citizens to challenge illegal government actions wherever they occur.

    That means that such cruel hunting methods as steel-jaw leghold traps, strangulation snares and even packs of dogs could be unleashed on wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes region.

    Tell your representatives in Congress that you won't stand for it. Urge them to vote no on H.R. 424 and S. 164 and let science and law govern wolf recovery, not politics.

  • Demand a Stop to Attacks on Women and Wildlife

    Donald Trump's first executive action after the historic Women's March was to reinstate the global gag rule, restricting access to reproductive healthcare and putting women's lives at risk. This response to the millions who marched for women's rights, equality and the environment sends a clear message that Donald Trump won't hesitate to pass policies that harm women, people of color and the planet.

    Congress can overturn the global gag rule, which prohibits international organizations from receiving funding if they participate in any abortion-related activity. But as soon as the current session of Congress convened Jan. 3, it began attacking women's rights and the environment. We need to stand together and keep the momentum of the Women's March going by demanding our representatives protect women's rights and reproductive freedom.

    Anti-choice Republicans are trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act and affordable access to birth control for millions of women, defund Planned Parenthood's reproductive health services, and pass a 6-week abortion ban to effectively create a federal ban on abortion. And now that Trump is in office, the stakes are even higher.

    Not only is reproductive freedom a basic human right, it is also inextricably linked to the preservation of wildlife and wild places. A woman's ability to access healthcare and prevent unplanned pregnancy is critical to reducing the pressure of human population on endangered species and fighting the effects of climate change.

    Using the form on this page, email your representatives to demand that they block any attempt to roll back access to reproductive healthcare.

    Center for Biological Diversity staff members joined hundreds of thousands this weekend in the Women's March on Washington. It was thrilling to see longtime activists as well as those who have never marched before rise together against Trump's dangerously racist, intolerant, anti-woman, anti-environmental agenda.

    We witnessed this same solidarity and commitment to action on our #Earth2Trump Roadshow of resistance, where every venue from coast to coast was filled to capacity. And we’ll need to maintain this momentum to protect the rights and values threatened by the new administration.

    In response to Donald Trump's first 100 days in office, the Center has created a 100-day plan outlining priorities, goals and methods. We're opposing Trump's attacks on our environment and values at every turn -- but we need your help. Start today by telling your representatives in no uncertain terms to protect women's rights.

  • Protect Alameda County's Water From Toxic Oil Waste
    Oil derrick

    The next aquifer that California state oil regulators will consider exempting from protection under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act -- the Greenville Sands -- lies adjacent to the city of Livermore in Alameda County.

    We know that there are many similar applications across California. Regulators are in the process of rubber-stamping operations like this one and attempting to get aquifers exempted from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. To do so the state must first approve an application, then send it to the EPA for a final stamp. That's right -- in the middle of a drought, the industry and state want to destroy scores of aquifers that may affect thousands of people.

    If approved, exemptions would allow the oil industry to contaminate underground water sources with dangerous chemicals -- an unthinkable move even if California weren't in the midst of a devastating drought.

    This shouldn't happen in Alameda County; this shouldn't happen anywhere. Now is the time to build off Alameda County's fracking ban and protect our water from becoming a garbage dump for this toxic, greedy industry. With the possibility of a gutted EPA under Trump, California must take charge and ensure its water is protected.

    Act now to urge your state legislators to hold regulators accountable and deny Big Oil's application to pollute.

  • Pledge of Resistance to Donald Trump's Assault on America's Environment, Democracy and Civil Rights
    Donald J. Trump

    I pledge to stand in resistance to Donald Trump's assault on America's clean air, clean water, climate, wildlife, civil rights, reproductive rights, gender and racial equality, and freedom of speech and religion.

    I pledge to stand in solidarity with those threatened by violence and intimidation because of who they are, what they believe or their opposition to Trump's dangerous agenda.

    Donald Trump is an unprecedented threat to our nation's democracy, health and environment. He must not be allowed to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency, gut the Clean Air and Endangered Species acts, raid our public lands, eliminate regulations protecting poor communities from pollution, deport millions of people, take away our reproductive freedom, or force millions to live in fear.

    I pledge to resist Trump through action.

    I pledge to speak out, make phone calls, sign petitions, join rallies, support conservation and civil rights groups, educate my family and friends, and keep a compassionate, loving heart while fighting fiercely for the values I cherish most.

  • Pledge of Resistance to Donald Trump's Assault on America's Environment, Democracy and Civil Rights
    Donald J. Trump

    I pledge to stand in resistance to Donald Trump's assault on America's clean air, clean water, climate, wildlife, civil rights, reproductive rights, gender and racial equality, and freedom of speech and religion.

    I pledge to stand in solidarity with those threatened by violence and intimidation because of who they are, what they believe or their opposition to Trump's dangerous agenda.

    Donald Trump is an unprecedented threat to our nation's democracy, health and environment. He must not be allowed to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency, gut the Clean Air and Endangered Species acts, raid our public lands, eliminate regulations protecting poor communities from pollution, deport millions of people, take away our reproductive freedom, or force millions to live in fear.

    I pledge to resist Trump through action.

    I pledge to speak out, make phone calls, sign petitions, join rallies, support conservation and civil rights groups, educate my family and friends, and keep a compassionate, loving heart while fighting fiercely for the values I cherish most.

  • Pledge of Resistance to Donald Trump's Assault on America's Environment, Democracy and Civil Rights
    Donald J. Trump

    I pledge to stand in resistance to Donald Trump's assault on America's clean air, clean water, climate, wildlife, civil rights, reproductive rights, gender and racial equality, and freedom of speech and religion.

    I pledge to stand in solidarity with those threatened by violence and intimidation because of who they are, what they believe or their opposition to Trump's dangerous agenda.

    Donald Trump is an unprecedented threat to our nation's democracy, health and environment. He must not be allowed to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency, gut the Clean Air and Endangered Species acts, raid our public lands, eliminate regulations protecting poor communities from pollution, deport millions of people, take away our reproductive freedom, or force millions to live in fear.

    I pledge to resist Trump through action.

    I pledge to speak out, make phone calls, sign petitions, join rallies, support conservation and civil rights groups, educate my family and friends, and keep a compassionate, loving heart while fighting fiercely for the values I cherish most.

  • Darden letters
  • Tell Missouri to Stop Unlimited For-profit Turtle Trapping
    Snapping turtle

    Because Missouri allows commercial trappers to take unlimited numbers of turtles from the state's rivers, thousands of the state's vulnerable turtles have been caught and killed over the past 10 years. Common snapping turtles and softshell turtles are sold domestically or exported to Asian markets to be slaughtered for food and medicine.

    Commercial trapping is devastating to turtle populations that are already suffering from threats like habitat destruction, water pollution and getting hit by cars. That's why the Center for Biological Diversity and the Great Rivers Environmental Law Center have asked the Missouri Department of Conservation to ban for-profit exploitation of the state's turtles.

    In response to our petition and because of your support, the department has agreed to address for-profit turtle trapping through a formal rulemaking.

    State officials now need to hear that you support a complete ban on commercial trapping of Missouri's turtles. Please take action today.

  • Speak Up for Wolf Protection in Oregon
    Oregon wolf

    Oregon's Wolf Conservation and Management Plan is currently being revised by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. When a draft of proposed revisions comes out for public comment later this year, the Center for Biological Diversity will thoroughly analyze it and guide our supporters in providing specific feedback to state officials.

    But the commission members need to hear from the public now, while they're drafting changes to the plan.

    There are three key areas wolf supporters should be commenting on right now to best ensure no harmful changes are made to the plan.

    First, we must hold the commission and the department to promises that this plan would prioritize the conservation of wolves, not their eradication. Second, we must retain the parts of the plan that have been proven to work well for all parties. And last, we must ensure that there is no public hunting or trapping of wolves, of any kind, in Oregon. Ever.

    Please take action -- write to the commission now and, if you can, customize your letter. Tell the commission you expect Oregon's wolf plan revisions to manage wolves as protectively as possible, and not weaken protections for wolves on behalf of special interests like the ranching and sport-hunting industry. Remind state officials of their obligation to manage and conserve wolves as a public trust for all Oregonians.

  • End Phosphate Strip Mining in Florida
    Sinkhole in phosphate mine

    Phosphate mining is one of the most destructive practices on Earth -- a brutal process that completely destroys landscapes and leaves behind 200-foot-tall, radioactive waste piles, which put people and wildlife, from gopher tortoises to sandhill cranes, at risk.

    On Aug. 27, 2016, a sinkhole opened under one of these waste piles, causing more than 200 million gallons of contaminated wastewater to enter the Floridan Aquifer. It's not the first time the state's main source of drinking water has been imperiled by the phosphate industry, nor is it likely to be the last.

    Mosaic (the largest phosphate mining company in Florida) wants to dig up an additional 50,000 acres of the state's beautiful, biodiverse lands, creating more radioactive waste. But this incident shows that Mosaic can't even handle the radioactive waste it currently generates.

    It's time for us to stand against this dangerous, destructive practice. Tell your elected officials to do everything in their power to end the blight of phosphate mining in Florida.

  • Tell Gov. Brown: Stop Watering California Crops With Oil Wastewater
    Oil derrick

    Do you live in the United States? Do you eat commercially grown almonds, pistachios, citrus, grapes or vegetables? If so, there's a chance you're eating food that was grown using treated waste from toxic oilfields.

    Big Oil makes millions by selling recycled waste from oilfields to Central Valley farmers desperate for water. Hundreds of chemicals are used in oil operations, some known to cause cancer, kidney failure and liver damage -- and these chemicals could be in the oil waste used to irrigate our nuts, fruits and vegetables. California grows about half of all of the produce in the U.S., so this is a problem for all of us.

    And, deeply troubling, samples of oil wastewater have been shown to contain dangerous levels of acetone, oil and benzene, a known human carcinogen.

    The state has convened a panel to review statewide practices, but the process is plagued by shoddy testing standards, poor public access and the presence of oil industry representatives on the panel. Meanwhile, we're still eating food grown with oil waste. And as California braces for another dry summer, plans are underway to expand the use of oil wastewater for crop irrigation.

    We need to put an end to this practice immediately. Please sign this petition urging Gov. Brown and state water officials to prohibit the use of oil wastewater for crop irrigation in California.

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

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

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

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

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

  • Tell USDA to Promote Sustainable Diets
    Extinction Facts Label

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

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

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

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

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

  • End Commercial Fur Trapping in California

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

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

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

    Tell California's Fish and Game Commission that you value wildlife alive and fully support ending all commercial fur trapping in the state.

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

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

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

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

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

  • Protect California's Drinking Water From Toxic Oil Waste

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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 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.

  • No More Toxic Pesticides in Minneapolis Parks
    Minneapolis sculpture garden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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.

  • Bring Back the Bears
    Bring Back the Bears

    Grizzly 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 to return California grizzly bears and a renewed sense of the wild to the Golden State.

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

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

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

    That's all we need to know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Urge the agency to ban the toxic practice of dumping fracking chemicals into the ocean.

  • Save Monarch Butterflies
    Monarch butterfly

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Due to urban sprawl and relentless development, this type of habitat has been reduced to just 2 percent of its original amount. And recently 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.

    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.

  • Stop Tar Sands Extraction in Utah
    Athabascan oil sands

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

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

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

    Urge the BLM to deny tar sands leasing at Asphalt Ridge.

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

    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.

    Urge McDonald's to be a leader and work for real sustainability by including meatless options in its menu.

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

  • Pledge to Take Extinction Off Your Plate
    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.

    By signing the pledge 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 too.

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

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

    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 to urge the California Coastal Commission and other leaders to halt offshore fracking now.

  • Ban the Big, Bad Bullfrog

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

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

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

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

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

  • Stop Catching Wild Turtles for Turtle Races
    Eastern box turtle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Protect Corals, Fish and Sea Turtles From Ocean Acidification
    Pillar coral

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

  • Change Rattlesnake Roundups to Humane Festivals
    Eastern diamondback rattlesnake

    "Rattlesnake roundups" are cruel contests where hunters bring in as many wild snakes as they can catch in a year; afterwards the snakes are slaughtered and sold for their skin and meat.

    They're a serious problem -- one that many people don't even know exist. Roundups in the Southeast, for example, are driving sharp declines of the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, which is the target of contests in Whigham, Ga., and Opp, Ala. In response to a Center petition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that eastern diamondbacks may now need Endangered Species Act protection.

    Across the country rattlers 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 their homes with the snakes. In Texas, 20 endangered species living underground can be harmed by suffocating gas fumes, which is why the Center recently petitioned to end "gassing" of Texas snake dens.

    Please sign our petition asking communities to change their roundups to festivals where snakes are celebrated and admired -- not hunted and killed.

  • Take the Pledge: Join the Bluefin Boycott
    Bluefin tuna

    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 Atlantic bluefin tuna in 2011. After years of catching Pacific bluefin tuna before they reproduced, populations are at critically low levels, having declined 96.4 percent from unfished levels. The government started an Endangered Species Act review of Pacific bluefin tuna in 2016.

    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.

    Follow the Bluefin Brigade on Facebook.

    Learn more about the Center's work to save bluefin tuna.

    These restaurants have pledged not to sell or buy bluefin tuna:

    Blue Hill, Manhattan, NY, US
    Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY, US
    Bon Appétit Management Company, Palo Alto, CA, US
    Chez Panisse, Berkeley, CA, US
    Farmers & Fishers, Washington, DC, US
    Tataki South, San Francisco, CA, US
    Tataki Sushi and Sake Bar, San Francisco, CA, US
    Umi, San Francisco, CA, US
    80 Restaurant, San Miguel Allende Mexico, Mexico,
    A Toute Heure, Cranford, NJ, US
    Anthony's, Richland, WA, US
    Bamboo Sushi, Portland, OR, US
    Barbarini Mercato, NY, NY, US
    Blue Wasabi Sushi & Martini Bar, Scottsdale, AZ, US
    Bob Chinn's Restaurant, Buffalo Grove, IL, US
    Cafe Bon Homme, Royal Oak, MI, US
    Cracker Barrel, Strawberry Plains, TN, US
    Anthony's, Richland, WA, US
    Babols, Liverpool, GB
    Bamboo Sushi, Portland, OR, US
    Berns, Stockholm, SE
    Blue Hill, Revere, PA, US
    Blue Ribbon, Brooklyn, NY, US
    Blue Wasabi Sushi & Martini Bar, Scottsdale, AZ, US
    Bob Chinn's Restaurant, Buffalo Grove, IL, US
    Butcher & Banker Pub, Beamsville, ON, CA
    Cafe Bon Homme, Royal Oak, MI, US
    Calle 8 Cafe, San Antonio, TX, US
    Ca'n Tià, Palma, ES
    Candle 79, Commack, NY, US
    Chae's Coffee +, Cottonwood, AZ, US
    Cracker Barrel, Strawberry Plains, TN, US
    Davinci's, Mahopac, NY, US
    Délitheque Restaurant, Montréal, QC, CA
    Denny's, Boca Raton, FL, US
    Distributor; J&B group's seafood buyer, Minneapolis, MN, US
    Eddies, Orange, MA, US
    Elm Bar, New Haven, CT, US
    Farmer's & Fishers, Milwaukee, WI, US
    Farmstead, Providence, RI, US
    Finz Restaurant, Stuart, FL, US
    Fish, Sausalito, CA, US
    Flight Deck, Salem, OR, US
    Harkness Student Co-operative, Oberlin, OH, US
    Ibbys, St. Louis, MO, US
    Jason O'Connell, Redondo Beach, CA, US
    Jersey City Board of Education, Jersey City, NJ, US
    Joans Bar, St Georges, GD
    Joe's Restaurant, Venice, CA, US
    John Ash & Co., Santa Rosa, CA, US
    Kelly's Good Eats, Mariposa, CA, US
    La Laiterie at Farmstead, Providence, RI, US
    La Trat, Berkeley, CA, US
    Laucala Island Resort Limited, Suva, HI, FJ
    Ma Fishers, Milwaukee, WI, US
    Maple Farm Sanctuary, Mendon, MA, US
    Mary's Gourmet Kitchen, Jensen Beach, FL, US
    Mashiko Restaurant, Seattle, WA, US
    MCL Cafeteria, Zionsville, IN, US
    Meadows Golf, Nelson, BC, CA
    Menla Retreat, Phoenicia, NY, US
    Miya's Sushi, New Haven, CT, US
    Miya's, East Haven, CT, US
    Moms at School, Lakeland, FL, US
    My Kitchen, Riverview, FL, US
    Purple Pickel, St. Simons Island, GA, US
    Purple Pickle, Rincon, GA, US
    Red Gables Mesquite Grill, Sandusky, OH, US
    Rest. Frohsinn, Weinfelden, Leimbach, CH
    Restaurante Gloria Seafood, D.F., MX
    Rick Moonen's RM Seafood, Las Vegas, NV, US
    Rod's, Los Osos, CA, US
    Sam's Grill & Seafood, San Francisco, CA, US, Houston, TX, US
    Sir Edmond Halley's, Charlotte, NC, US
    Start Bay Inn, National, GB
    Sunapee Lodge, Sunapee, NH, US
    Sushi House, Los Angeles, CA, US
    Sushi Ten, Tucson, AZ, US
    Sushi Toni, San Francisco, CA, US
    Sushisamba, Las Vegas, NV, US
    Swell, San Francisco, CA, US
    Tataki Sushi, San Francisco, CA, US
    TGIFridays, Philadelphia, PA, US
    The American Hotel, Sag Harbor, NY, US
    The Emperior's Wok, Saint Louis, MO, US
    The Grit, Lexington, GA, US
    The Sushi Bar, McCall, ID, US
    Thegourmetoboist Catering, Hadley, MA, US
    Umi, San Francisco, CA, US
    Water Grill, Los Angeles, CA, US
    Whole Foods Cafe, Wentzville, MO, US
    Whole Foods, Harleysville, PA, US
    Yo! Sushi, London, GB

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

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

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

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

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

    Several lines of evidence show that allowing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to remain above 350 ppm for a sustained period of time will lead to dangerously acidic oceans, runaway global warming, and melting of the polar ice caps. Such a climate would be well outside anything experienced in the history of the human species, and would carry with it irreversible cascades of species extinctions and significant dangers for human civilization.

    What's needed is an immediate reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide, with the goal of an overall concentration of 350 ppm or less to be achieved as quickly as possible. To accomplish that, the Center supports the rapid phasing out of all coal-fired power plants; the highest technologically feasible vehicle-mileage standards; and a ban on extreme energy development like Arctic drilling, tar sands and fracking, among other critical measures.

  • Join the Fight to Save Okinawa Dugongs

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

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

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

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

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

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