Petition Closed
1,762
Supporters

As a result of a lawsuit settlement, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program is preparing a biological assessment to be reviewed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service. The NFIP has provided insurance coverage for development projects in critical sea turtle habitat without regard to the impact on the sea turtles.

Florida is the prime location for 90 percent of sea turtle nesting grounds and home to five species of endangered or threatened sea turtles. The lawsuit argued that FEMA failed to abide by regulations in the Endangered Species Act requiring ecological impact statements in endangered species habitat areas.

A report on sea turtle conservation has been issued along with the settlement. This report, a collaborative work between National Wildlife Federation, Florida Wildlife Federation and Sea Turtle Conservancy, emphasized four key actions to address threats to sea turtle survival:

•    Continue funding and support for the FWS-funded Florida Beaches Habitat Conservation Plan
•    Place limits on National Flood Insurance Program subsidies that are used for new development and rebuilding in ecologically important and high hazard land along the coast
•    Support land acquisition programs that preserve minimally-developed coastal land and support coastal restoration projects financed by Deepwater Horizon funds
•    Commit to reducing the impact of climate change on wildlife and ecosystems

FWS and NMFS would be well advised to incorporate these actions into objectives for sea turtle conservation and into their evaluation of FEMA’s biological assessment plan.

Photo Credit: prilfish

Letter to
Acting Director of FWS Rowan Gould
Assistant Director of Endangered Species for FWS Gary Frazer
Assistant Administrator for NMFS  Eric Schwaab
and 1 other
Executive Director MAFAC Dr. Mark Holliday
As a result of a lawsuit settlement, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program is preparing a biological assessment to be reviewed by your agency. The NFIP has provided insurance coverage for development projects in critical sea turtle habitat without regard to the impact on the sea turtles.

Florida is the prime location for 90 percent of sea turtle nesting grounds and home to five species of endangered or threatened sea turtles. The lawsuit argued that FEMA failed to abide by regulations in the Endangered Species Act requiring ecological impact statements in endangered species habitat areas.

As an agency leader responsible for the protection of sea turtles, I am contacting you today to request your full participation in consulting with FEMA in order to amend the NFIP to reflect sea turtle conservation.

A report on sea turtle conservation has been issued along with the settlement (available at http://www.conserveturtles.org/pdf/florida/NWF_SeaTurtle.pdf). This report, a collaborative work between National Wildlife Federation, Florida Wildlife Federation and Sea Turtle Conservancy, emphasized four key actions to address threats to sea turtle survival:

• Continue funding and support for the FWS funded Florida Beaches Habitat Conservation Plan
• Place limits on National Flood Insurance Program subsidies that are used for new development and rebuilding in ecologically important and high hazard land along the coast
• Support land acquisition programs that preserve minimally-developed coastal land and support coastal restoration projects financed by Deepwater Horizon funds
• Commit to reducing the impact of climate change on wildlife and ecosystems

I ask that you incorporate these actions into objectives for sea turtle conservation. Furthermore, I ask that you incorporate these actions into your evaluation of FEMA’s biological assessment plan as they apply to FEMA’s programs.

Thank you for your time and consideration,