Protect More Than 300,000 Homes from Flooding

Target: Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Protect coastal communities from the danger and damage of swelling oceans.

A recent climate change study has revealed that rises in sea level as a result of climate change will pose a threat to many US coastal communities. According to the findings, as many as 311,000 houses face the possibility of coastal flooding every two weeks starting sometime in the next 30 years. This type of damage is estimated to affect properties that are collectively worth $120 billion.

Kristina Dahl, a senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said of the study: “The impact could well be staggering. This level of flooding would be a tipping point where people in these communities would think it’s unsustainable. Even homes along the Gulf coast that are elevated would be affected, as they’d have to drive through salt water to get to work or face their kids’ school being cut off. You can imagine people walking away from mortgages, away from their homes.”

Sign this petition to urge Scott Pruitt to invest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to prevent coastal community damage from swelling oceans.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Pruitt,

A recent climate change study has revealed that climate change will have a devastating impact on the coastal communities of the United States as a result of rising sea levels. As many as 311,000 homes could potentially face bi-weekly coastal flooding well within our lifetime, as soon as 30 years from now. Even houses that are prepared to face coastal environments by being built on stilts would not save residents from the unsustainable lifestyle changes that would be necessary if this type of sea level rise happens. These changes include the choice between driving in high water to attend work or school, or staying home to protect their personal safety.

Climate change can be slowed and prevented by lowering greenhouse gas emissions. I urge you to invest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to prevent coastal community damage from swelling oceans.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tiago Fioreze

Don’t Mine Our Beautiful National Monuments

Target: Saf Dhillon, CEO of Glacier Lake Resources, Inc.

Goal: Prevent the destruction of previously protected national monuments from mining.

A Canadian mining company has purchased property that was formerly part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. With the Trump administration’s rollback of federally protected lands last year, this area is now going to be stripped and destroyed for a profit.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was dedicated in 1996 by President Bill Clinton. It encompassed 1.9 million acres southeast of Boulder, Utah and was previously America’s largest national monument. In December of 2017, the Trump administration committed the largest reversal of federal land protection, reducing the area of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by almost half, to about one million acres. This means that the former federal protections will no longer prevent mining and development; what was once a pristine landscape could now be gone forever.

Conservation organizations currently suing the Trump administration maintain that only Congress has the authority to revoke or modify national monument status. This means that President Trump’s action in reducing the federally protected area of the affected national monuments was illegal and the 200 acres of the Colt Mesa sold to Vancouver-based mining company, Glacier Lake Resources, Inc., was not Trump’s to sell. This land should not be available for commercial development, which would destroy the beauty and environmental treasure that is Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Sign the petition to encourage this mining company to show some restraint in favor of environmental protection and stop efforts to mine this land which, even if not in name, is still a national treasure.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Dhillon,

Your company’s proposed development of land formerly included in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is deplorable. Glacier Lake Resources should not be mining this area. Even if the federal protections have been revoked in name, and even this is debatably legal, the Colt Mesa is still considered a national treasure.

Under the Antiquities Act, Congress delegated authority for the establishment of national monuments to the president. However, Congress maintained the authority to revoke or modify these federal protections. President Trump sold you something that wasn’t his to give. Proponents of these rollbacks might tell you that his power in revoking protection is implicit in this regulation. I for one am not comfortable staking a claim, literally or figuratively, based on implicit power.

This “welcome addition” to your portfolio is a pristine landscape and a national treasure. It is not too late to prevent development of this important landmark. Stop your company’s assault on our environment and do not mine Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Peter Fitzgerald

Return Tigers to the Wild

Target: Jim Kurth, Director of United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Return US tiger population to its natural habitat.

Much of the United States’ tiger population lives in backyards or captivity, rather than in the wild or in zoos. According to news reports, all but six percent of these animals live in breeding facilities, backyards, or apartments; in some states it is even easier to buy a pet tiger than it is to adopt a rescue dog.

This is not good for the tigers or the humans who keep them captive. According to conservationists, the captivity of tigers makes it harder to keep track of their numbers, as well as fueling the illegal trade of tiger parts that is still a major problem in certain parts of the world. Additionally, dozens of children have suffered brutal injuries from tigers kept as pets or found living in backyards; four even lost their lives, and authorities were forced to kill the tigers responsible.

The planet’s tiger population has been in dire straits for years now, with the species dangerously close to extinction at certain points. We need to aid the return of tigers to the wild or to the zoos where they can be kept safe. Sign this petition to remove tigers from captivity immediately.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Kurth,

The United States has seen more tigers living in backyards or in captivity within the past year, causing problems for conservationists aiming to keep track of their numbers as well as leading to children in homes containing the animals being attacked or even killed. Four children lost their lives to tiger attacks, leading the authorities to put the animals down, and the captivity of the animals in general helps fuel the illegal tiger parts trade in certain parts of the world.

You must return these tigers to either the wild or to the zoos where they can be properly cared for. Apartments and backyards are no place for wild animals, especially ones that have been on the endangered list for years as tigers have been. Part of keeping the population safe is ensuring proper habitat. You must outlaw keeping tigers in captivity, and aid in the return of the surviving animals to their proper habitats.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: William Warby

Support Victory for Conservation in Florida

Target: Rick Abbott, Chair of the Florida Wildlife Federation.

Goal: Congratulate Florida on passing a constitutional amendment to conserve precious Florida land.

The State of Florida recently passed a constitutional amendment requiring the state spend a billion dollars to purchase land for conservation efforts instead of allowing that land to be developed on. The move was an act by Floridians to ensure that they can keep a legal stake in their home state’s land without having to worry about the land being sold for industrial purposes. Thanks to the ruling by a local judge, Florida now has a billion more dollars to allocate towards land conservation.

Opponents of the move were big companies who wanted to develop on the very land that was up for auction and if they had gotten their way, the land would be demolished and polluted forever. Thanks to some dedicated Floridians and the tireless efforts of conversation groups, the conservation efforts will continue without roadblocks by private entities. Stand with us in thanking Florida for making the right choice.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Abbott,

Thanks to the efforts of the Florida Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club, Florida no longer has to worry about losing a billion dollars worth of valuable resources to industries who only want to abuse that privilege. If we did not have conservation groups like yours fighting the good fight, who knows what would happen to our priceless heritage and resources?

Florida is an essential stitch in the tapestry of ecological diversity we have crafted here in the United States, if we do not protect this tapestry then the very values of America are at stake. We were built with respect for our beautiful ecology and it’s environmental decisions like this that allow us to continue respecting these ecologies. We thank you for your hard work.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Donkey Hotey

Success: Seattle Bans Plastic Straws

Target: Jenny Durkan, Mayor of Seattle

Goal: Congratulate Seattle on banning plastic straws.

Seattle just scored a huge victory for their local ecology and the ocean waters around the Puget Sound by officially outlawing the usage of plastic straws. We have been talking about this issue for quite some time and Seattle just made leaps and bounds in the right direction. The ban of plastic straws in Seattle officially marks a step forward in the fight against disposable plastics.

Plastic straws are one of the top pollutants of the world’s ocean ecology and considering the U.S. consumes 500 million plastic straws on a daily basis, we’ve got a long way to go to undo some of the damage done by these harmful plastics. We still have petitions to the EPA, the United Nations, and many other worldwide organizations dedicated to protecting our ecology. We need your help to keep spreading the word that plastics have no place in our waters. Right now though, we congratulate Seattle on a huge step in the right direction.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mayor Durkan,

This victory in the fight against disposable plastics in our oceans is one of the many incredible news stories to come out of Seattle. Thank you for your help in turning Seattle into a place where people can truly vote with their progressive values. Thanks to the legislation of the Seattle City Council, the future of the oceans is looking a lot cleaner.

We encourage you in your progressive efforts and hope you continue to pleasantly surprise the rest of the world with your policy decisions. Thanks to your bright eyes for the future, our children have a home to look forward to. We thank you for your efforts, Seattle.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit:JnL

Take Interior Department to Task for Damaging Anti-Environmental Decisions

Target: Michael Nedd, Acting Deputy Director for U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management

Goal: Do not diminish efforts to conserve America’s natural landscapes.

America’s natural environment is in more danger than ever. For decades, conservation of lands has stood as one of the primary missions of the United States Department of the Interior. Yet as this federal agency—like many alongside it—becomes increasingly politicized, the values and mission of the organization are disappearing, now supplanted by new ‘priorities’ that include “protect[ing] the border” and “strik[ing] a regulatory balance.”

In a broad move that will have a strong impact on environmental conservation efforts nationwide, the department is considering significantly slashing funds for conservation grants it offers to community and state land preservation efforts. A more low-key but equally detrimental move in the long term involves new guidelines the department has put in place that will hobble the ability of geologists to attend the field’s two major scientific conferences. In new guidelines critics label censorship, materials to be used in presentations will be screened not by expert professionals but a departmental political appointee. If the materials do not support the department’s new priorities, then these scientists will be stifled from collaborating with their colleagues on matters of urgent importance.

Geologists provide critical insights on a host of environmental issues, including habitat restoration, water contamination, and the impacts of natural disasters. Their work must be allowed to continue unhindered by politics. Sign this petition to demand the Interior Department abide by one of its core missions and stop assaulting conservation and key research efforts.

PETITON LETTER:

Dear Mr. Nedd,

Land management stands as a fixture of the Department of the Interior, yet with each passing day this vital effort seems to be under assault from within. As the leader tasked with overseeing the operation of land management programs nationwide, does it trouble you that the financial lifeblood of such efforts is being squeezed with every new undermining policy? If grants for the conservation efforts that preserve and sustain our nation’s precious lands are curtailed, then at some point in the increasingly near future, you will be managing nothing but remnants, ghosts, and wisps of once-vibrant habitats.

In the same vein, hobbling the efforts of the geological professionals who should be valued colleagues and allies via political interference will only further diminish protections for our lands and its resources. While you may not have direct authority over these matters, you can be a strong, powerful voice that speaks for the lands that cannot speak for themselves.

Please fulfill your mission and advocate for our country’s most irreplaceable natural marvels.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Walton LaVonda

Protect Endangered Dragonfly from Extinction

Target: Greg Sheehan, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Enact protections for the rare and endangered southern snaketail dragonfly.

A rare dragonfly found in America’s south may soon go extinct. The southern snaketail dragonfly is found in Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana. Scientists, conservationists, and dragonfly experts classify the green dragonfly as “vulnerable.”

Pollution is the main factor in the rapid decrease of the dragonfly’s numbers. Mining, logging, and pesticides from runoff create water pollution that destroy the dragonfly’s larvae. Without healthy offspring, the dragonfly cannot hope to survive.

The southern snaketail dragonfly is just one of the more than 40 plant, animal, and insect species the Center for Biological Diversity is demanding protection for. Sign the petition to demand the federal government act immediately to classify the southern snaketail dragonfly as endangered, and demand the government award it all of the protections that come with such a title.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Sheehan,

The Center for Biological Diversity has recently released a list of over 40 plant, animal, and insect species it believes deserve protection. The southern snaketail dragonfly, found in America’s south, is quickly facing extinction. Water pollution is killing its offspring, ensuring that the population cannot grow.

I demand action be taken now to preserve the future of this insect. Every living being, no matter its size, deserves a chance at survival. Classify the southern snaketail dragonfly as endangered and award it all of the privileges and protections such a title carries with it.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: De terre

Save America’s Wolves: Do Not Remove Their Endangered Species Protections

Target: Bridget Fahey, Chief of the Division of Conservation and Classification, Endangered Species Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Do not expose wolves to trophy hunters and the threat of extinction.

Nearly all wolves across all of the lower 48 states of the U.S. may be left exposed to trapping, trophy hunting, and the threat of extinction, as the Trump Administration confirmed that it is considering a proposal to remove their Endangered Species protections. As Collette Adkins of the Center for Biological Diversity states, “It’s deeply troubling to see the Trump Administration trying to prematurely kick wolves off the endangered species list. Time and again the courts have told the Service that wolves need further recovery before their protections can be removed. But the agency is dead-set on appeasing special interests who want to kill these amazing animals.”

The Center for Biological Diversity reports that Gavin Shire, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Chief of Public Affairs, said in an email statement that the department expects to propose reversing the gray wolf’s status “by the end of the calendar year.” It has already stripped the wolf of protections in the Great Lakes region, resulting in the cruel and unnecessary killing of hundreds of wolves. When the agency tried to extend this decision to apply to the rest of the country in 2013, courts not only ruled against it, but restored protections in the Great Lakes and later upheld both decisions. The courts said the Service’s removal of wolf protections in the Great Lakes region unlawfully ignored the consequences to wolf populations in other areas of the nation that are still recovering. These court rulings must not be ignored, or America’s wolves may face the threat of extinction due to trophy hunting and political corruption. Sign below to demand that wolves remain protected under the Endangered Species Act.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chief Fahey,

As a leader of the Endangered Species Program, it is your responsibility to ensure the protection and restoration of our nation’s wildlife. Nearly all of America’s wolves will be put at risk if they are stripped of their Endangered Species protections. This is why courts have ruled to maintain these protections in the past. Wolf populations are still recovering and taking their protections away prematurely irresponsibly exposes these innocent creatures to threats of extinction through cruel trophy hunting and trapping.

It is vital that wolves’ protections under the Endangered Species Act be upheld. Political interests and the whims of trophy hunters must not be put before the survival and well-being of innocent creatures who are integral to the landscape of our country as we know it. As Collette Adkins of the Center for Biological Diversity says, “Like so many Americans, I treasure having wolves and grizzlies in the wild and don’t want to see them shot and trapped for blood sport or pelts. We’re ready for a fight, and we’re going to do all that we can to make sure the feds fulfill their obligation to restore wolves and grizzlies across the country.” I urge you to ensure the rejection of any proposal that would remove protections for America’s wolves.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mark Kent

Adapt New Technologies to Save North Atlantic Whales

Target: James Landon, Director of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement

Goal: Adapt new regulations for the fishing industry to reduce harm to whales in the wild.

The North Atlantic right whale is facing extinction within the next 20 years due to serious entanglement issues in the ocean caused by methods used in the commercial fishing industry. Most fishers and crabbers use long ropes to keep track of the traps they lay at the ocean floor, something that is seriously damaging whale health. Whales get caught in these ropes and their instinct is to roll, which entangles them further. North Atlantic right whales are currently losing population numbers and not producing as many young as they used to, due to the stress on their bodies from the fishing industry. Less than 20o of these whales exist in the ocean right now.

There is a solution, though. New technology has led to advancements in rope-less trapping in the fishing industry, using sonar GPS signals and other advancements to track any cages or traps. Wildlife groups are calling on the National Marine Fishers Office to step up and help enforce the use of these new technologies. We are going to send a letter to the head of this organization to demand a change in behavior, before it’s too late. Sign the petition below to add your voice to the fight!

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Landon,

We are begging you to make some simple policy changes to the fishing industry that you help regulate. In order to save the whales, we need to implement the newest technology across the world. Please make regulation changes to ensure that whales can stay protected.

If we don’t take these steps now, then we might lose a precious species altogether. Please stand with us in protecting North Atlantic right whales.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Janice Waite

Protect Us from Polluters: Eliminate Corruption in the EPA

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Remove political appointees with conflicts of interest from the EPA.

Close to 50% of EPA political appointees have ties to industry under the current administration, according to a study by the AP. With high-ranking officials in positions to ignore or bend the rules for former employees, questions regarding conflict of interest are raised. How can the EPA protect the public and enforce environmental regulations with so many employees having questionable loyalties?

The EPA recently named Steven Cook as the new chair of the Superfund Task Force, after the former chair resigned amid scandal. Cook has been at the EPA since February of 2018 as the deputy assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management, but prior to that spent over two decades as a lawyer for LyondellBasell Industries, one of the country’s largest chemicals, plastics, and refining companies, and a known past and allegedly present-day polluter. Of the approximately 1,300 toxic cleanup sites that the Superfund Task Force is in charge of monitoring, six are the responsibility of Lyondell Chemical Co., a subsidiary of Cook’s former employer. In 2010, Lyondell Chemical Co. settled with the U.S. government for $250 million for the cleanup of these six Superfund sites as well as nine other polluted sites. LyondellBasell is suspected by the EPA of polluting over thirty other sites.

The person previously entrusted to defend a known polluter is now in charge of supposedly expediting cleanup at their pollution sites, and many others. Rather than recuse himself, Cook, along with many other EPA officials previously from these industries, hides behind the flimsy belief that the ethics briefings mandated by the EPA are enough. But these are not sufficient to guarantee impartiality or the public’s safety. Sign the petition to call for the investigation and removal from the EPA of political appointees with ties to companies being regulated.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Trump,

The EPA under your administration has become a corrupt, toothless organization. Rather than protecting the environment and enforcing regulation, the EPA under your guidance is being systematically dismantled from within by employees who formerly represented or worked for the companies they are supposed to be regulating. The AP identifies one-third of last year’s 60 hires to the EPA as former lawyers or lobbyists for EPA-regulated companies. Nearly half of political appointees under your administration have some connection with industries regulated by the EPA. Steven Cook, the chair of the Superfund Task Force, spent over twenty years as a lawyer for a company whose sites he is now in charge of remediating.

This kind of flagrant ethical violation will not be tolerated by the American people. Discontinue the appointment of regulators from companies that are regulated, and remove people like Steven Cook, Nancy Beck, and countless others from positions where they can benefit their former employers. We need and deserve a clean environment, free from unregulated and unmitigated pollution.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: WhisperToMe