This is a guest blog post by Camila Cossio, a former intern with the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense.
Weighing in at 2,000 pounds and stretching 7 feet long, the Pacific leatherback sea turtle is the largest turtle on earth. Boasting the widest range of any reptile on the planet, it traverses the globe, swimming nearly 7,000 miles from its nesting beaches in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands across the Pacific Ocean to feeding grounds off the U.S. West Coast.
Earthjustice is seeking summer law clerks who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment.
In a pioneering decision made last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service finalized a rule to protect dozens of species of small fish and squid that are an important part of the menu for seabirds, whales and bigger fish. The decision marks an important first step in shifting away from the too little, too late approach to fisheries management that too often results in overfishing and collapsed stocks.
Scientists believe it takes around two million years for a new species to come into existence. Species extinction, on the other hand, can occur in the comparative blink of an eye. Unfortunately, North America’s imperiled flora and fauna aren’t getting the help they need from congressional leaders in Washington, D.C., putting more and more species under threat.
The Obama administration recently abandoned its plan to open the Atlantic Ocean to offshore oil drilling for the next five years. The move elicited a sigh of relief from coastal communities and environmentalists who feared the federal government would court disaster by allowing offshore rigs into pristine coastal waters.
Communities near the nation’s coal ash disposal facilities have been given new hope thanks to a recent Earthjustice victory. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the EPA to issue “financial assurance” rules. These rules require companies with toxic waste problems—potentially including coal-fired power plants that produce toxic coal ash—to set aside funds for their own cleanup.