Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sea Otter Bill Passes House!

H.R. 556, the Southern Sea Otter Recovery and Research Act passed in the House today. To see full results of the vote and read the complete text of the bill, you can check out the OpenCongress website. Keep your fingers crossed for the bill as it heads to the Senate.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Urgent Help Needed for Sea Otters!

I received this e-mail from the Monterey Bay Aquarium regarding the urgent situation the sea otters are facing. Please contact your government representative and let them know that you support the Southern Sea Otter Recovery and Research Act (H.R. 556).

Message from the Monterey Bay Aquarium:


Urgent Help for Sea Otters
Tagged sea otterYou may have read today that newly released survey data shows once again the California sea otter population is declining. (Editor note: You can read a survey summary at the following link.)

The fact is, California's sea otters are dying, and scientists need help to pinpoint the causes before it's too late. A bill now before Congress, the Southern Sea Otter Recovery and Research Act (H.R. 556), would fund vital research that can help save sea otters—if it gets the votes to pass.

Please take action today to help promote the recovery of sea otters.

Not only an iconic species, this animal also draws millions of visitors and tourist dollars to the coast and maintains the health and vitality of an entire ecosystem. Without this legislation, the threatened southern sea otter population will remain at risk from a single environmental catastrophe, such as a pandemic disease or oil spill.

What you can do?

1. Send a simple electronic letter to your representative and let them know why sea otters and a healthy ocean are important to you.

2. Forward this e-mail to a friend or family member and urge them to help.

Please send a letter now to support H.R. 556, as we believe that a House vote is imminent.

Thank you for your support.

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As of yesterday, the bill was on the legislative calendar, but Republican house members balked according to the info I found on the Sea Otter Scoop, the official blog of The Otter Project.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Save the Redwoods and Other California State Parks


Giant Sequoias at Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

One of the distinctive natural tourist attractions in California is the redwood trees such as the coastal redwoods or the giant sequoias. The coastal redwood trees grow higher than a 30-story building and can live more than 2,000 years. The giant sequoia can live more than 3,000 years and is the largest tree on Earth with trunks that grow as wide as 30 feet. The giant sequoia is also known as the Sierra redwood and is found in only 75 groves in California’s Sierra Nevada.

On June 15, the Conference Committee of the California Legislature voted to remove all general fund support for the California State Park system. The removal of funding for the parks is due to a state budget deficit of more than $24.3 billion. This measure would require the parks to close. There are 220 California state parks that could close. Many of these parks contain the treasured redwood trees. Besides the redwood trees, the California state parks are great destinations for both state residents and tourists alike to visit. If they are closed, California and all California travelers will lose the opportunity to visit these wonderful and beautiful locations. Some of the state parks may be taken over by the National Park Service. Save the Redwoods League is one organization that is trying to stop the closure of the state parks by proposing an alternative parks funding plan. You can help try to save the California state parks by supporting the Save the Redwoods League, the California State Parks Foundation, or other organizations dedicated taking part in The Save Our State Parks (SOS) Campaign. If you are a California resident, you can contact your state legislators and tell them to keep the parks open not only for use by California residents, but as vital tourist attractions, as well.