Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Endangered Species Act by having your students participate in the Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest (entry deadline March 15th), in an activity celebrating Endangered Species Day (May 17, 2013), or both!
Find details on the Youth Art Contest and hosting your own Endangered Species Day event at www.endangeredspeciesday.org. Check back in early spring to see events planned in your area for 2013 or register your own event online for others to join.
To ensure that any final action resulting from this proposal will be as accurate and effective as possible, we are soliciting comments from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, and any other interested parties. We must base our final determination on the best available scientific and commercial information when making listing determinations. We cannot, for example, consider the economic effects of a listing determination. Final promulgation of any regulation(s) on these species or withdrawal of this listing proposal will take into consideration the comments and any additional information we receive, and such communications may lead to a final regulation that differs from this proposal or result in a withdrawal of this listing proposal.
Solicitation of Information
In addition to comments on the proposed rule, we are soliciting information on features and areas that may support designations of critical habitat for the coral species newly proposed to be listed. As to Acropora palmata and A. cervicornis, for which critical habitat has already been designated, we have broad discretion to revise existing designations from time to time as appropriate, and we may decide to exercise this discretion based on information received and available on potential critical habitat features for the other coral species. Information provided should identify the physical and biological features essential to the conservation of the species and areas that contain these features for the coral species proposed to be listed. Areas outside the occupied geographical area should also be identified if such areas themselves are essential to the conservation of the species. Essential features may include, but are not limited to, features specific to individual species' ranges, habitats and life history characteristics within the following general categories of habitat features: (1) Space for individual growth and for normal behavior; (2) food, water, air, light, minerals, or other nutritional or physiological requirements; (3) cover or shelter; (4) sites for reproduction and development of offspring; and (5) habitats that are protected from disturbance or are representative of the historical, geographical, and ecological distributions of the species (50 CFR 424.12(b)). ESA implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(h) specifythat critical habitat shall not be designated within foreign countries or in other areas outside of U.S. jurisdiction. Therefore, we request information only on potential areas of critical habitat within waters in U.S. jurisdiction.
For features and areas potentially qualifying as critical habitat, we also request information describing: (1) Activities or other threats to the essential features or activities that could be affected by designating them as critical habitat, and (2) the positive and negative economic, national security and other relevant impacts, including benefits to the recovery of the species, likely to result if these areas are designated as critical habitat.
Public Hearing Dates and Locations Public hearings will be held at 20 locations in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida, Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa, during the public comment period. The public hearings in Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. to gather formal public comments on this proposed rule, preceded by town hall meetings from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to provide information about the proposed rule. The specific dates and locations of these meetings are listed below: (1) Monday, January 14, 2013, at the Nova Southeastern University Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Ecosystem Science, 8000 North Ocean Drive, Dania Beach, FL 33004, 7-9 p.m. (2) Tuesday, January 15, 2013, at the John Pennekamp State Park Visitors Center, 102601 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, Florida 33037, 7-9 p.m.(3) Wednesday, January 16, 2013, at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, 35 East Quay Road, Key West, FL 33040, 7-9 p.m. (4) Monday, February 4, 2013, at the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, 4th Floor Conference Room, Road 8838, km. 6.3, Sector El Cinco, R[iacute]o Piedras, Puerto Rico, 6-8 p.m. (5) Tuesday, February 5, 2013, at the University of Puerto Rico– Mayag[uuml]ez Campus, Salas Eugene Francis, Physics Building, Room 229, Mayag[uuml]ez, Puerto Rico, 6-8 p.m. (6) Wednesday, February 6, 2013, at the Buck Island Reef National Monument, 2100 Church Street
EPA will hold two public information sessions in Tampa, Florida. These sessions will provide opportunities for members of the public to submit written comments on EPA's proposed rule for some of Florida's coastal and estuarine waters, and on EPA's proposed rule on remanded portions of its final rule for Florida's inland waters. The public information sessions are scheduled for the afternoon of January 17, 2013 from 1:00pm until 7:00pm, and the morning of January 18, 2013 from 9:00am until 1:00pm at the Hotel Tampa (formerly Hyatt Regency Tampa) located at 211 North Tampa Street, Tampa, Florida, 33602. The public information sessions will not have an agenda and will have an "open house" format. While verbal comments will not be taken/recorded, EPA representatives will be available to help attendees submit their written comments electronically. If you need a sign language interpreter or other assistance at either of the public information sessions, please contact Beth LeaMond at 202-566-0444 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting202-566-0444end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email@example.com at least ten business days prior to the session you want to attend so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
In addition EPA will hold three webinars: January 22 from 10:00am until 12:00pm, January 23 from 6:00pm until 8:00pm, and January 24 from 2:00pm until 4:00pm. The webinars will provide an opportunity for participants to submit written and oral comments on EPA's proposed rule for some of Florida's coastal and estuarine waters, and on EPA's proposed rule on remanded portions of its final rule for Florida's inland waters.
Call your Representative today to stand up for our Atlantic wildlife
Seismic airgun testing is used to find deep pockets of oil in the sea floor. The decibels produced by airgun blasts are loud enough to kill a human at close range. For marine life, like the endangered North Atlantic right whale, the stakes are too high.
The Obama administration’s Department of the Interior will decide on whether or not to allow seismic airgun testing in 2013. To show public opposition to this proposal, New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg is urging other members of the Senate to voice their opposition to airgun testing.
Call and ask your Senators to stand with Senator Frank Lautenberg and other leaders in Congress against seismic airgun testing in the Atlantic.
by Enric Sala of National Geographic in Ocean Views on September 25, 2012
Ninety percent of the large predators in the ocean are gone and their populations have collapsed, and some scientific studies suggest that most fisheries worldwide will collapse before 2050.
The reason for this is that we have taken too many fish out of the sea, and we keep taking more before the remaining populations are able to reproduce. It’s like constantly withdrawing from a checking account without ever putting any money in. Guess what will happen to our fish – or our finances. Pretty soon, they’ll simply run out.
How to Fix It
But there are alternatives that have proven successful. One of them is to create no-take marine reserves, areas in the ocean set aside without fishing to allow marine life to recover. Watch the video where Mel, the “very weird” fish, will show you what marine reserves can do, and why we need many more.
Marine reserves are like savings accounts, with a principal we don’t touch, but which produce compound interest we can enjoy. Fish abundance increases spectacularly within these reserves – 450% on average in less than a decade. Now try to think of any financial stock with that performance.
In addition, because there are so many fish inside these reserves, some of them spread beyond the boundaries of the reserves, into areas where they can be caught by the local fishers. In places like Kenya or the Solomon Islands, fisher income has doubled in areas next to well-enforced marine reserves. Many reserves have also attracted flocks of tourists who want to see a healthy marine environment full of large fish, helping to create jobs in tourism that bring up to 40 times more income to the local communities than fishing.
The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is pleased to announce the Science Without Borders® Challenge, a contest meant to answer the question, “How Are We All Connected to the Oceans?” Students, ages 14-19, are asked to submit 1-5 minute videos that remind us how vital oceans are to our existence. Please forward this to any students in your networks.
DEADLINE: April 2, 2013
WHAT: To enter, each student will submit a multi‐media video presentation (1‐5 minutes in length). The video can include any combination of interviews, comic storyboards, photography, and original footage to present an answer to the Challenge question. Each submission should convey a connection between everyday life and our oceans that can serve as a public service announcement to other students, parents, and the general public.
WHO: Any 14 to 19 year‐old from a US or international secondary school (high school) may participate. Group submissions are allowed (max. 3 students per group). All submissions must be electronically submitted and in English.
DEADLINE: April 2, 2013.
JUDGING: A panel of judges from the Living Oceans Foundation will select the top 15 submissions to be posted on the Foundation’s website for public viewing. The top three finalists will receive a GoPro underwater camera system. From the finalists, one Grand Prize winner will also receive an iPad Mini and $1000. Winners will be announced by mid‐May 2013.
Education Director, Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (LOF)
Board Member, Association of Partners for Public Lands (APPL)
MS Non-profit Management, Regis University
Divemaster, Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI)
Jan. 10, 2013 — Mangrove forests of the Sundarbans are disappearing, taking endangered species like the Bengal tiger with them. RAPID deterioration in mangrove health is occurring in the Sundarbans, resulting in as much as 200m of coast disappearing in a single year. A report published January 11 in Remote Sensing by scientists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) states that as human development thrives, and global temperature continues to rise, natural protection from tidal waves and cyclones is being degraded at alarming rates. This will inevitably lead to species loss in this richly biodiverse part of the world, if nothing is done to stop it.
ZSL's Dr Nathalie Pettorelli, senior author of the paper says: "Our results indicate a rapidly retreating coastline that cannot be accounted for by the regular dynamics of the Sundarbans. Degradation is happening fast, weakening this natural shield for India and Bangladesh."
The name 'Sundarban' can be literally translated as 'beautiful forest' in the Bengali language. The area is is the largest block of continuous mangrove forest in the world, being home to almost 500 species of reptile, fish, bird and mammals, including the endangered Bengal tiger.
Sarah Christie, ZSL's tiger conservation expert says: "The Sundarbans is a critical tiger habitat; one of only a handful of remaining forests big enough to hold several hundred tigers. To lose the Sundarbans would be to move a step closer to the extinction of these majestic animals."
Although mangroves are rare, they are an important barrier against climate change, providing protection to coastal areas from tsunamis and cyclones. They are also the most carbon rich forests in the tropics with high carbon sequestration potential, meaning their degradation and loss substantially reduce our ability to mitigate, and adapt to, predicted changes in climatic conditions.
We petition the obama administration to: We, the people, demand the President of the United States and it's legislative body recognize Climate Change as great and Grave a threat to this nation as they would any other aggressive enemy. We demand that the President and Congress act against Climate Change as they have acted against Saddam Husein, Bin Laden, and Hitler for that matter. We demand a National Energy Policy that quickly begins to ween us off of Carbon Based fuels and expedites the inevitable and necessary transition to Clean Energy. We demand that our leaders act on the recommendations coming from an overwhelming majority of the scientific community to halt Climate Change and save the lives of untold millions.
The last few years have been good for Everglades restoration.
After a decade of delay, there have been a string of ground-breakings and dedications, most recently Friday for a pump station in deep South Miami-Dade that will send more freshwater to both parched Everglades National Park and a too-salty swath of Florida Bay. Next month, a ribbon-cutting is scheduled for a new one-mile bridge along Tamiami Trail, which has blocked the flow of the River of Grass for a century.
Florida, which fought a federal lawsuit for years, also finally agreed in June to an $880 million expansion of vast artificial marshes intended to clean up damaging farm pollution.
The challenge now: Maintain progress and, most important, the flow of money for complex and expensive projects. That was the message Friday at the annual meeting of the Everglades Coalition at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, a three-day gathering that brought together some 300 activists, state and federal agency managers and political leaders.
The tone was generally optimistic from activists and the Obama administration, which has kick-started stalled efforts with some $1.5 billion in the last four years.
The government has set up a number of hearings to discuss the 66 corals proposed for endangered species protections. Please attend a public meeting in your area and give your support the proposed coral protections. It's a great opportunity to learn what the coral listings will mean and also build support within your community to conserve biodiversity.