Don't Exempt Manatees from The Marine Mammal Protection Act!

  • by: Care2
  • target: Senator Chafee; U.S. Senate
The House of Representatives recently voted not only to gut the Endangered Species Act, but in a last minute attempt to please developers, Representative Adam Putnam (R-FL) added an amendment to exclude the endangered manatee from protections under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).

Manatees are found over publicly-owned submerged lands -- the water bottoms of rivers, estuaries, and bays. These lands are like public parks -- they are managed by the state in trust for all the people. Virtually everyone agrees that imperiled species should be protected when they inhabit public lands, but this amendment leaves the fragile manatee out to dry.

Under Congressman Putnam's amendment many dock-building projects that would likely hurt or kill manatees will be able to move forward with little or no conservation measures. This amendment will exact a major toll on manatees because boat strikes continue to be the largest known cause of manatee deaths in Florida.

The Putnam amendment is headed for the Senate and we must stop it from passing. Sign this petition to stop the exemption!
Not only do I oppose weakening the Endangered Species Act (ESA), I also strongly oppose any amendment to the ESA that would exempt manatees from the protections of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Congressman Adam Putnam recently included a last minute amendment to Congressman Pombo's bill on the federal Endangered Species Act to exclude the endangered manatee from protections under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and I oppose this amendment.

Manatees are found over publicly-owned submerged lands -- the water bottoms of rivers, estuaries, and bays. These lands are like public parks -- they are managed by the state in trust for all the people. Virtually everyone agrees that imperiled species should be protected when they inhabit public lands, but this amendment leaves the fragile manatee out to dry.

Under Congressman Putnam's amendment, if the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service performs an ESA consultation with a federal permitting agency on dock building projects that could affect manatees, many projects that would likely hurt or kill manatees will be able to move forward with little or no conservation measures. This amendment will exact a major toll on manatees because boat strikes continue to be the largest known cause of manatee deaths in Florida.

The practical effect of the Putnam amendment is a legal sanction to actually injure or kill manatees by permitting the construction of docks and the associated boating operations in manatee habitat.

Please oppose any weakening of the ESA or any amendments that would exempt manatees from the protections of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Thank you.
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