Marjorie Mulhall joined Earthjustice’s Policy & Legislation team in the spring of 2011. A wildlife enthusiast, she works with Congress and federal agencies to defend and strengthen the Endangered Species Act.
Marjorie received a law degree from Duke University School of Law in 2008, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum.
Prior to law school, Marjorie worked for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Environmental Defense Fund on a state-level climate campaign in North Carolina. After graduating law school, she worked as a litigation associate at Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York.
Marjorie received a Bachelor of Science in biology in 2002 from Bucknell University.
My work here in D.C. very much ties into the work of our Earthjustice attorneys, who fight in court to protect a variety of natural ecosystems.
As an example, for a very long time now, Earthjustice has worked to protect the California Bay Delta, which is the largest estuary on the West coast in both North and South America. The Bay Delta is an incredibly important ecosystem. It provides habitat for hundreds of species of plants, fish and wildlife and that includes some commercially valuable salmon runs.
Our Earthjustice litigators succeeded in securing federal protections to help protect some species in the Delta against very excessive and damaging redirecting of water from the Bay Delta ecosystem for the benefits of some of the world's wealthiest agribusinesses. That redirecting of water, which is coming in the form of pumping, harms imperiled species including salmon and delta smelt fish.So here in D.C., I work to make sure that those protections that our litigators won for the imperiled Bay Delta species aren't undermined by congressional actions. That can be a tough job given the strong political sway of those interests that would like to see those protections lifted.
Another example of a species we work to defend is the gray wolf. Wolves are a very critical part of the ecosystem to which they are native. For centuries, they were hunted, trapped and poisoned and that brought them to the very brink of extinction in the lower-48 states. Earthjustice for a long time has worked to protect wolves that were reintroduced to the Northern Rocky Mountains. Our work there continues.
Defending the Endangered Species Act from some very powerful interests that would like to see it weakened really takes a team. I work with congressional allies, other organizations, and with Earthjustice activists to help defeat anti-ESA bills and amendments in congress and also to oppose agency proposals that would undermine the Act as well. We are enormously aided by the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans support the Endangered Species Act and purpose and we are also aided by being able to highlight the very strong economic and ecological benefits that species protections provide.
This work is important to me because I am amazed at the variety of life on this planet and I'm really deeply troubled by the idea that we humans can render other species extinct for the sake of short-term economic gain. That's happening worldwide with plant and animal species disappearing at a very alarming rate. I think we can and must do better than that. What's great about the Endangered Species Act is that it challenges us to do just that. I'm really grateful to get to go to work every day, protecting a law that in turn protects our fellow species.
"I am amazed at the variety of life on this planet and I'm really deeply troubled by the idea that we humans can render other species extinct for the sake of short-term economic gain … I think we can and must do better than that."