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.
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