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Restore the Wetlands. Reinforce the Levees.

Posts Tagged ‘environmental protection’

“The Brown Pelican Is Back”

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

An Environmental Protection Success Story
Detail from the Bank of New Orleans, Magazine Street.

Detail from the Bank of New Orleans, Magazine Street.

The brown pelican, a species that was driven nearly to extinction by use of the pesticide D.D.T., has grown back in strong enough numbers that the admirable bird has been removed from the endangered species list. The decision was announced Wednesday by officials of the U.S. Interior Department in a ceremony with Senator Mary Landrieu at Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in Lacombe, Louisiana. The brown pelican was declared endangered in 1970. Pelicans would eat fish that contained traces of D.D.T., and the pesticide’s weakening of calcium in the eggshell would cause the birds’ eggs to be so thin that they would break during incubation. Bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and other birds were similarly affected. D.D.T. was banned in 1972 (but we’re not safe yet).

Christine Harvey of the Times-Picayune explains the announcement in illuminating detail. She reports that Senator Landrieu used the occasion of the visit by Interior assistant secretary Tom Strickland and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services director Sam Hamilton

to convene a closed meeting between the Interior officials and about 75 coastal restoration “stakeholders” representing state agencies, universities, local governments and environmental groups in an effort to press the Obama administration on its commitment to speeding the state’s coastal restoration process.

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It’s a Whole New Year

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

LNW_CCCwoodcut.miniTo all our readers and their families—and beyond—we send best wishes for a happy, safe, and more prosperous new year. For everyone we wish full (or at least livelihood-sustaining) employment.

2009 will not be easy, we know, but embedded within the new year’s challenges are opportunities for renewal and a whole new sense of national purpose and possibility. Seeds of change. It is a time for hope, optimism, for dreaming big new dreams and for working hard to make them real. With a new (and very different) administration and many new elected officials coming to Washington and to state and local governments across the nation, it’s a time for collaboration and cooperation for the common good.

We’re all in this together. Being in the work of environmental protection, for example, we realize that all nations have a stake in reducing carbon emissions that cause global warming and melting of ice caps. Rising sea levels threaten not only the Gulf Coast of the United States but also Long Island, the Netherlands, Venice, Bangladesh—every bit of land touched by the oceans. We understand that the more energy-efficient vehicles that the public rightly expects from Detroit should be balanced by federal and state investment in clean-energy public transportation (electric buses, streetcars) and light rail to ease traffic congestion and air pollution.

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