Weekly News Roundup: Gulf Wildlife Still in Peril and More

Wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico are still suffering from the BP Oil Disaster, according to a report released this week by National Wildlife Federation. Dolphins, sea turtles and corals are among the species affected four years after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, spilling 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf. You can download the full report, Four Years into the Gulf Oil Disaster: Still Waiting for Restoration.

A Kemp's ridley hatchling crawls towards the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: National Park Service
Kemp’s ridley sea turtle hatchling. Photo: National Park Service
In other news, NWF is working to save clean energy standards in Ohio, give bison a chance to roam outside Yellowstone National Park year-round, and stop dangerous coal exports in the Pacific Northwest.

What’s happening at the National Wildlife Federation this week?

Rick Lewis- Donated to NWFReport: Four Years after BP Oil Spill, Wildlife Still Struggling

April 08As the four-year anniversary of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig approaches, a new National Wildlife Federation report looks at how fourteen species of wildlife are faring in the aftermath of the disaster.

“Four years later, wildlife in the Gulf are still feeling the impacts of the spill,” said Doug Inkley, senior scientist for the National Wildlife Federation. “Bottlenose dolphins in oiled areas are still sick and dying and the evidence is stronger than ever that these deaths are connected to the Deepwater Horizon. The science is telling us that this is not over.”

Victory for Wild Bison in Montana

BisonApril 10Efforts to conserve and restore wild bison won a victory Monday when a Montana judge rejected an effort by opponents of bison restoration to classify the iconic animals as livestock instead of wildlife under state law.

If it had been accepted, the argument rejected by Montana District Judge John McKeon would have treated wild bison as livestock under Montana law once the animals were captured and held in quarantine as a prelude to wild bison restoration efforts.  A legal classification as livestock, in turn, would have transferred jurisdiction over quarantined bison from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to the Montana Department of Livestock—a move that threatened to impede any future efforts to restore native bison as a wildlife species in appropriate portions of their historic habitat.

Take Action: Tell the Montana Board of Livestock that you care about Yellowstone’s bison and want to see them given additional room to roam.

Outdoor Afro Founder Wins Prestigious Award at National Wildlife Federation’s National Conservation Achievement Awards

Rue MappApril 07 – Outdoor Afro founder, Rue Mapp of Oakland, California has been selected as the recipient of the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) 2014 Communications award. Mapp is receiving this prestigious award for her dedication to environmental education and passion for connecting African-Americans with nature. Mapp will receive the award on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, at NWF’s Conservation Achievement Awards in Washington D.C.

Rue Mapp supplements this effort in a variety of ways including service on National Wildlife Federation’s California Advisory Council. She was also appointed program officer at the Stewardship Council’s Foundation for Youth Investment where she served for two years managing its grant making program.

National Wildlife Federation to Honor David Suzuki at the National Conservation Achievement Awards

David SuzukiApril 10 – Dr. David Suzuki has been selected as the recipient of National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) 2014 Science award for his instrumental environmental and conservation work. Dr. David Suzuki will receive the award on Wednesday April 30, 2014, at NWF’s Conservation Achievement Awards.

“Over a lifetime David Suzuki has truly inspired individuals worldwide to protect and care about our environment,” said president and CEO of National Wildlife Federation, Larry Schweiger. “His work echoes the mission of National Wildlife Federation; highlighting the interconnectivity between humans and nature.”

NWF in the News:

EcoWatch: Victory: Judge Rejects Livestock Label for Wild Bison in Montana

“This ruling rightly discredits what amounted to a stealth attack on future efforts to restore wild bison in Montana,” said Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso, who represented Defenders of Wildlife and the National Wildlife Federation in opposing Citizens for Balanced Use’s argument. “Wild bison are classified as wildlife under Montana law. Now it is time to restore wild bison as wildlife on the Montana landscape.”

National Geographic: Gulf Oil Spill “Not Over”: Dolphins, Turtles Dying in Record Numbers

“In particular, bottlenose dolphins and sea turtles are dying in record numbers, and the evidence is stronger than ever that their demise is connected to the spill, according to Doug Inkley, senior scientist for the National Wildlife Federation, which issued the report.”

The Christian Science Monitor: Gulf Oil Spill: How Wildlife is still Challenged four years later (+video)

“Four years later, wildlife in the Gulf are still feeling the impacts of the spill,” Doug Inkley, senior scientist for the NWF, told reporters in a teleconference Tuesday. “The science is telling us that this is not over.”

The Pueblo Chieftain: Saving Colorado’s special places

“What do the Florissant Fossil Beds, Great Sand Dunes and Black Canyon have in common? All became monuments and national parks through the Antiquities Act, the law that gives U.S. presidents the ability to set aside iconic historical, natural and cultural places already owned by the American people for future generations to honor and enjoy”

Montgomery News: Abington alumna raises awareness about climate change, endangered species

“With a team of researchers and scientists, Abington Senior High School alumna Mollie Simon, 22, a post-grad fellow with the National Wildlife Federation, released a report through the federation in March titled “Mascot Madness: How Climate Change is Hurting School Spirit.”

E&E: INTERIOR: Jewell unveils broad mitigation plan to shift away from “project to project” management

“The timing couldn’t be better. With mule deer populations in severe decline, we need this smart mitigation strategy that emphasizes collaboration and problem solving among agencies and stakeholders,” Suzanne O’Neill, executive director of the Colorado Wildlife Federation.”

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Published: April 11, 2014