Earthjustice is a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment. We bring about far-reaching change by enforcing and strengthening environmental laws on behalf of hundreds of organizations and communities.
Started 4 petitions
Protect whales and dolphins from seismic airgun blasting
Federal agencies have determined that seismic airgun surveys for oil and gas deposits in the Atlantic Ocean will harass and harm marine mammals, including critically endangered right whales, hundreds of thousands of times. But now that President Trump has ordered agencies to reconsider the Obama administration’s five-year ban on offshore drilling in the Atlantic, oil companies are already seeking permits for this harmful and unnecessary activity. The National Marine Fisheries Service is taking public comments on the “incidental taking” of marine mammals during these seismic surveys until July 21. Our irreplaceable wildlife and coastal communities are too important to become another casualty of polluter profits. Tell NMFS to deny these dangerous seismic survey permits. Seismic airgun arrays are towed across vast swaths of ocean and fired every 10-12 seconds up to 24 hours a day for months on end. Each of the blasts can exceed 230 decibels—louder than a rocket launch and many hundreds of times louder than the noise level that would cause pain in the human ear. This sound can travel up to 2,500 miles underwater—the distance from New York City to Los Angeles. Flooding the ocean with noise from seismic surveys is devastating for marine life. For marine mammals like whales and dolphins, which depend on their sense of sound to communicate, navigate and find prey, this industrial noise can be devastating. Deafening a whale is the equivalent of killing that whale—it just happens more slowly. And even exposures that don’t cause this level of physical harm disrupt these animals’ behavior and can drive them away from areas vital for feeding, breeding or raising their young. Five companies are seeking permits to conduct this harmful seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean from Delaware to Cape Canaveral, Florida. Together the proposed surveys will blast more than 200,000 square miles of these biologically rich waters 24 hours a day for six months or more. In many cases, the same areas will be surveyed multiple times. The NMFS draft permits would allow these activities to harm or harass whales and dolphins over 350,000 times in the span of one year, with nearly 2,000 of the exposures loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss. These draft permits come soon after President Trump’s executive order of April 28 directing agencies to reconsider the Obama administration’s decision not to allow offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean for at least the next five years. Opening the Atlantic to oil and gas exploration will unnecessarily put marine life—and the coastal communities that depend on a healthy Atlantic Ocean—in jeopardy for fossil fuels that we don’t need. At a time when our oceans are already showing the stress of climate change, it just doesn't make sense to harm whales, dolphins and other ocean wildlife in the service of drilling for more oil we can't afford to burn. Let’s urge NMFS to protect whales and other marine life and deny the requests to allow seismic airgun surveys in the Atlantic Ocean!
TAKE ACTION: Urge Secretary Zinke to Protect Bears Ears National Monument!
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is testing the waters for his first attack on our national monuments following President Trump’s executive order last month. The first monument in his crosshairs is Bears Ears National Monument – sacred land to five sovereign tribes and home to ancient cliff dwellings, Native American cultural sites, jaw-dropping beauty and iconic wildlife. It’s unconscionable, but the faster they can overturn or shrink Bears Ears, the faster they can give it away to oil, uranium and other industry interests. But first, Zinke has to open his review of Bears Ears for public comment. You have a narrow window to urge him to keep this iconic public land intact. According to Zinke, the review will lead to a report on Bears Ears National Monument in 45 days and a larger report on national monuments in 120 days, though it remains unclear what concrete recommendations for action those reports will make. Any attempt to reverse or shrink a monument designation by the executive branch is unlawful under the Antiquities Act. Only Congress has the authority to modify a national monument. Earthjustice stands ready to defend the Antiquities Act and the national monuments protected under the law. Urge Secretary Zinke to follow in the footsteps of his hero Teddy Roosevelt by upholding our public lands and keeping Bears Ears National Monument intact and protected under the Antiquities Act. The designation of Bears Ears marks the first time in the 110-year history of the Antiquities Act that Native American tribes—the Hopi, Navajo, Ute Mountain Ute, Zuni and Ute Indian tribes—have come together to ask a president to designate a national monument. We can’t let Bears Ears become the testing ground for dismantling the Antiquities Act. An attack on one national monument is an attack on them all.
Protect the only nearshore coral reef in the continental United States
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning a major dredging project in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to deepen the Port Everglades channel to make way for ever-larger ships due to the expanded Panama Canal. However, the Corps’ initial plan didn’t include necessary protections to save nearby corals. Earthjustice filed litigation, and as a result, the Corps has agreed to conduct new environmental studies and complete new reviews and analysis before starting the dredging project. But, we need your help to ensure the Corps keeps its promises. The Corps is now accepting public comments for the proposed Port Everglades dredging project as part of this revised environmental study. Sign today and urge the Corps to protect Florida’s coral reefs. A similar Army Corps dredging operation at Port Miami proved disastrous for the delicate corals there. Dredging stirred up fine-grained sediment, which smothered tens of thousands of coral colonies and more than 250 acres of reef designated as critical habitat for threatened staghorn corals. The National Marine Fisheries Service later surveyed the wrecked reef and concluded that 95 percent of the reef it assessed is no longer suitable habitat for corals. The service reported that some of the damaged reef may never recover naturally. We cannot let this happen again. The Army Corps must learn from its mistakes and ensure that corals will be protected before further taxpayer dollars are spent on this potentially devastating project. Sign the petition today!
Join the fight to defend climate progress!
President Trump entered office flanked by congressional leaders who have made attacking climate action and dismantling health safeguards their top priorities. Climate change affects every facet of American life, from basic public health to extreme weather events to national security threats. Despite the fact that a majority of Americans, and even a majority of Republicans, support action on climate change, Trump refuses to accept the facts and take climate change seriously, putting the health and safety of our families at risk. Trump and his team have said they will “scrap” the Clean Power Plan, “cancel the Paris Climate Agreement“ and gut the Clean Air Act—a bedrock law that protects our environment, climate and public health against industrial pollution, and has been saving lives for 40 years. An overwhelming majority of Americans support these protections because they know that climate change poses an urgent threat to our environment, health and way of life. This election did not change that basic fact. Nobody voted to end clean air. Earthjustice has been fighting for years—through administrations both friendly and hostile—to protect our communities and the health of our environment, and we won’t stop now. Over the last eight years, we’ve made remarkable progress in the fight against climate change, with the Clean Power Plan, stronger standards to reduce dangerous pollutants like methane, and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Rolling back these vital protections is unacceptable and dangerous. With anti-environment extremists controlling the House, Senate and White House, fighting for climate action will be an uphill battle. Trump has made it clear that he will put the interests of big polluters and dirty energy insiders above those of the American people. But with your help, we can both hold the line against rollbacks and continue to make progress toward clean energy. The planet can’t afford four years of climate change denial and rollbacks of climate progress. Tell Trump that you will fight to protect climate progress.