Friday, July 30, 2010

Congress considering oil spill response legislation

This week, Congress is considering the a bill to address the Gulf oil spill and prevent the next offshore oil disaster. The Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Spill Accountability Plan will strengthen safety and environmental regulations for drilling, invest in energy efficiency and fund land and water conservation programs. A strong oil spill response bill would prevent offshore oil disasters by improving oversight of oil and gas drilling off our coasts.

This is an incredibly important opportunity to demand stronger protections for our communities and environment. The bill is key to protecting endangered species and their habitat, including brown pelicans, sea turtles and whales from dirty and deadly oil drilling. The Endangered Species Coalition is calling on Congress to protect key wildlife habitat, restore coastal wetlands, fully fund land and water conservation programs and include citizen advisory councils to get input from people in affected communities.

Unfortunately, Big Oil is working to weaken this important legislation. Although the House is debating the bill today, it is being held up in the Senate. Republican Senators are opposed to lifting the $75 million cap on economic liability from an oil spill.

It is critical that Congress acts now to protect people and wildlife from devastating oil spill disasters. We need to stand up to demand strong protections for our oceans, coastal communities and wildlife. 

Please join us in asking Congress to pass a strong oil spill response bill that protects people and wildlife.

To find out more about the wildlife impacted by the BP oil spill disaster, visit

Friday, July 16, 2010

BP must do more to save all wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico

We all want as many wildlife as possible rescued from the Gulf Coast oil spill disaster. Unfortunately, BP and the government are not doing enough to rescue oiled birds, turtles, whales and other wildlife. 

Although wildlife rescuers are working tirelessly, there are far too few people and resources to find and save all wildlife in this vast area. In addition, rules and red tape are stopping qualified wildlife rescuers from helping to save injured wildlife.

Oiled brown pelican captured in Barataria Bay
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
/ U.S. Coast Guard photo

According to the Gulf Restoration Networkuntrained cleanup crews are trampling nests, eggs and wildlife habitat. GRN staff person Raleigh Hoke says "recently, we began receiving reports of inadequately trained BP contractors crushing bird eggs and disturbing tern nests in coastal areas."

Over 80 days into this disaster, the death toll is rising. According to NOAA Fisheries, rescuers have found over 1,900 dead birds, 463 dead turtles, and 59 dead marine mammals, including an endangered sperm whale. Many, many, many more have been injured or killed and not recovered.

Threatened and endangered sperm whales and sea turtles struggle to breathe as they swim through coastal waters. Endangered species such as the brown pelican, piping plover, and least tern are breeding and nesting along this vulnerable coast. At least 36 national wildlife refuges and 40 endangered species will be negatively impacted.

In addition, BP cleanup operations may be further harming endangered species like brown pelicans, least terns, and sea turtles. We've heard reports  that BP contractor cleanup crews have crushed nests and eggs and places boom in places that harm wildlife habitat.  To increase the response times and improve survival rates for injured wildlife, we must increase the number of trained personnel, resources and boats.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA Fisheries, state agencies and other wildlife rescuers are working hard to save wildlife and they need our help. It is of the utmost urgency that government agencies be armed with the resources they need in order to address the impacts of the oil spill on our ocean, coasts and wildlife. They need more trained people to adequately monitor and respond to the wildlife impacts. BP must pay all costs of government and non-profit rescue operations.

Send a letter to BP and the federal government urging them to save all wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Good news for turtles and other wildlife!

Good news for turtles and other wildlife! On Friday, conservation groups reached an agreement with BP and the Coast Guard to rescue turtles before burning oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

Thank you for helping to stop the horrible practice of burning turtles alive. Thousands of you wrote to the Obama Administration asking them to rescue all wildlife in the Gulf.

The BP oil spill disaster has already killed thousands of turtles, dophins, fish, birds and other wildlife. According to NOAA Fisheries, 494 turtles have been found stranded, 377 of which were found dead. Rescuers have also found a dead endangered sperm whale, 49 stranded dolphins, and over 1,600 oiled birds.

Unfortunately, BP's clean up operations were also killing wildlife. Many turtles were being captured by boom and caught in the fires to remove the oil. Turtle researchers from NOAA Fisheries, state wildlife agencies, and local boat captains reported not being allowed to search for wildlife before the oil was set on fire.

Last week, Endangered Species Coalition member organizations the Center for Biological Diversity, Sea Turtle Restoration Project and the Animal Welfare Institute filed a lawsuit accusing BP of violating the Endangered Species Act. In the settlement to the suit, BP agreed to ensure measures to rescue sea turtles from the surface before setting fire to oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP must now work with sea turtle experts to put in place a scientifically-sound plan to protect endangered sea turtles. This is great news, especially for the highly endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtles who have suffered greatly in the oil spill.

BP must do more to rescue endangered species. They must increase the number of boats and personnel on the water rescuing all wildlife encountered in oil spill operations and transport them immediately to one of the many rehabilitation centers available.

The Endangered Species Coalition and our member organizations will continue to put pressure on BP and the government to rescue endangered species in the Gulf of Mexico.

For more information on the impact of the oil spill on endangered species, what conservationists are doing to save wildlife and how you can help, visit