81 petitions

Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Mayor Blair and all council members (Mayor of Wrightsville Beach and Wrightsville Beach Town Council, Chairman Beth Dawson, Mayor Bill Saffo and all council members

Ban the bag, and styrofoam!

Garbage has become a serious issue effecting oceans and ecosystems around the globe, but not everyone is aware of just how serious it's become. According to National Geographic "In 2010, eight million tons of plastic trash ended up in the ocean from coastal countries—far more than the total that has been measured floating on the surface in the ocean's "garbage patches." In more recent years that number has greatly increased with their estimation climbing to "5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean" on January 11, 2015. Nat. Geo. also states that "Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface..." That is the equivalent of 44,834 ELEPHANTS weighing 6 tons each floating on the surface of the ocean. National Geographic states "...while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea”, and that “Ocean plastic has turned up literally everywhere. It has been found in the deep sea and buried in Arctic ice.” When it comes to trash there is no 'away'. A large portion of ocean debris is made up of materials that will never decompose such as plastic bags, and polystyrene (styro-foam). These materials break up into smaller pieces, and become consumed, filtered, or otherwise ingested by wildlife. There is difficulty distinguishing these bits from small eggs, or some form of food source. Keystone filter feeders such as our native oysters, clams, shellfish, and other small organisms are some of the first to become contaminated. NC Coastal Federation documents that “An adult oyster is capable of filtering up to 50 gallons of water a day. As they filter, they also provide an important link in the estuarine food web by transferring nutrients from the surface (plankton) to the bottom (benthos).” According to National Geographic “…the digestion of microplastics diverts some energy away from reproduction, oysters’ ability to reproduce is almost halved: Female oysters produce fewer and smaller eggs while male oysters produce slower-swimming sperm. Offspring produce more slowly. The cause? Blame the chemicals that make up microplastics.” Larger predators consume toxic prey both directly and indirectly. The NC coastline is home to hundreds of endangered sea turtles, and their nesting sites. The Sea Turtle Conservancy reports “Many turtles, that have been killed by consuming debris, had plastic bags or fishing line in their stomachs, some as small as half of a fingernail. Sea turtles are especially susceptible to the effects of consuming marine debris due to their bodies' own structure. They have downward facing spines in their throats which prevent the possibility of regurgitation. The plastics get trapped in their stomach, which prevents them from properly swallowing food. Also, many sea turtle rehabilitation facilities commonly deal with "bubble butts," turtles that float as a result of trapped gas caused by harmful decomposition of marine debris inside a turtle's body. The gases cause the turtle to float, which leads to starvation or makes them an easy target for predators.” The southern portion of Wrightsville Beach North Carolina is also an active nesting site to several migratory bird species. The Audubon Society North Carolina says "The south end of Wrightsville Beach, N.C. is a favorite among many beach-nesting birds. Each summer, nesting shorebirds arrive to raise the next generation of chicks. Since 2009, Least Terns, Black Skimmers, American Oystercatchers, Common Terns and Willets have gathered at the south end to find mates and raise their young." The Audubon goes on to say "Because it hosts large numbers of birds, the site serves as a significant nesting site for beach-nesting species in North Carolina. As many as 20 percent of the state’s Least Terns and Black Skimmers have nested there, and their success helps maintain healthy populations in the state and in the region." Will the styrofoam problem here effect their numbers as well? If so, how will this effect other countries these bird species inhabit and their ecosystems? Humans also inadvertently continue the cycle of bio magnification by consuming toxic marine animals like fish, and shellfish. As the plastics are dispersed throughout the food web the concentrated toxins accumulate in our bodies as well. Suddenly our family fish fry consists of tiny fragments of toxic polystyrene and plastics, to which we are completely unaware. This problem does not only effect public health, but wildlife populations, the balance of precious ecosystems, and our coastal economies. During a visit to Wrightsville Beach's south end on August 14, 2016 I noticed there were small white balls by the hundreds washed up on the sand. At first glance they looked like eggs of some sort. The tiny white bits were farther up near dunes, in the reeds, along the shoreline, and pulled inside crab holes. I was shocked to discover these tiny balls were not eggs, but small bits of non-decomposing plastic styro-foam; ie. microplastics. The debris appeared to be identical to the styro-foam used in coolers, cups, fishing markers, and mooring buoys. After one week of Wrightsville beach styro-foam collection we discovered an alarming average. Every 500 ft we collected 32oz styro-foam pieces from the sand alone with that average on a steady incline. As of September 10, 2016 the quantity of styrofoam present on this beach is too high, and well dispursed to measure. The collections also included plastic bags or pieces of plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic bottle caps, plastic bucket lids, sheets, fishing lines, fishing hooks, plastic bits, socks, diapers, misc. garbage, and too many cigarette butts to count. There are a vast growing number of states, and cities across the nation who have banned plastic foam, and plastic bags. A list compiled by reports District of Columbia, Washington D.C., Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and California have officially banned plastic foam either partially or completely, and a host of other locations such as Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and Illinois all have bills currently in proposal. According to Ocean Conservancy "San Francisco County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a ban on the sale of polystyrene foam. Foam packing, cups and mooring buoys will be prohibited starting January 1, 2017.” On August 9, 2016 The Folly Beach Newsletter reported “The Folly Beach City Council unanimously voted to ban polystyrene coolers (best known by the brand name Styrofoam) or single use plastic bags, typically associated with bags handed out to customers after a purchase”, countries in Europe encouraged a large decrease in single use plastic bags by charging for them, and France just banned single use/disposable plastic-ware all together. It's time to join other coastal areas around the Nation and the globe in taking the necessary steps to ensure that our coastal ecosystems remain intact, and pristine for future generations.  Please sign to protect the seas and our crystal coast! Thank you!  

Christina Budres
1,294 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

Please help to rescue an abused elephant named Nosey

Nosey the elephant needs our help. She is showing signs of arthritis, but still forced to stay on the road giving rides to people despite evidence that she's suffering! A veterinarian even says that Nosey "is unnecessarily suffering, permanently disabled, crippled, and is knowingly being maimed." Please tell the USDA to act to rescue Nosey from her abuse life of captivity and urge your members of Congress to pressure the USDA to do its job! The USDA has cited Nosey's owner, Hugo Liebel, for nearly 200 animal-welfare violations, and he was ordered to pay a $7,500 penalty following nearly three dozen charges of violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Most of the charges related to Nosey, including repeatedly chaining her so tightly that she could barely move and denying her necessary veterinary care. So why is Nosey still used for elephant rides and taken to fairs and flea markets? This cruel captivity including chaining and a tough life performing for humans' entertainment is known to result in arthritis in captive elephants. As the authority with power to pull Nosey off the road, the USDA should act to help this elephant but they ignored her history of lameness. Our representatives in Congress can help to make this happen if you act as a constituent to say animal welfare issues such as this are important to you. People like me have worked hard to protest and organize other online and offline events for Nosey here in Florida where she is generally used for these fairs and other events. But we need more help since the USDA is accountable to members of the public around the country and your member of Congress will care most about what you think as someone who has the power to vote animal-friendly politicians into office! If you care about elephants, please sign my petition to help Nosey.

CompassionWorks International
199,771 supporters
This petition won 4 weeks ago

Petition to Steven Shechtman, Santa's Enchanted Forest

Urge Santa's Enchanted Forest to drop animal shows!

UPDATED 1/4/2017Please sign to urge Santa’s Enchanted Forest to END cruel live animal acts at their annual events! Santa's Enchanted Forest is a popular Miami holiday attraction featuring light displays, carnival type rides and food. Unfortunately they also host pony rides, a sea lion show, pig racing and a petting zoo. Though we don’t believe any animal belongs in this loud, chaotic carnival atmosphere, we are especially concerned for the sea lions and ponies on display at Santa’s. This petition has been updated as we now have the names of the animal exhibitors and disturbing new info. The performing sea lions are owned by Marco Peters of Squalus, Inc., a former circus trainer. He used to exhibit sharks and had no prior experience with sea lions before starting his current business. They have a disturbing history of Animal Welfare Act violations (including sea lions escaping the stage area, caretakers covered in bite wounds from the animals, and keeping the sea lions in municipal water instead of saltwater, causing painful eye problems). The USDA has been inspecting them once a month for the past year, which shows you how concerned they are. One of the inspection reports noted that "the current caretakers have not been adequately trained and supervised to maintain the professionally acceptable level of husbandry practices required by USDA." The ponies at Santa’s are owned by Show-Me Safari and are chained to a “hot-walker” which forces them to walk in circles for hours on end. We have documented the ponies chained to this device, forced to walk in circles, for 6-7 hours straight, with no access to food or water, MULTIPLE times. We notified Santa’s park director Buddy Cormican and the exhibitor herself, in person, and no action was taken to limit rides or give the ponies a rest. According to Santa’s own statements the ponies are only supposed to work two hours per night, which is not the case. In 2014 Show-Me Safari was issued a direct violation by the USDA for failing to provide care to a camel in their care that had multiple cuts that left it's left swollen and susceptible to infections.  Santa’s claims to have a zero tolerance policy for animal abuse but this is clearly not true. Please continue to comment on Santa’s Facebook, Yelp and TripAdvisor pages asking them to end this cruelty. You can also email them via the contact form on their website:  Keep the Lights, Drop the Animal Shows!

Wendy King
70,499 supporters