Target: Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior and Chair of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission
Goal: Applaud Secretary Jewell and the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission for approving millions of dollars to help restore and conserve North American wetlands.
The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, chaired by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, recently approved $61.3 million to help restore and conserve over 200,000 acres of North American wetlands. Wetlands are areas of great ecological and economical importance, and they face numerous threats of loss and destruction. Secretary Jewell and the members of her commission need to be applauded for their efforts to protect and nurture some of our nation’s most vital resources.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), wetlands are “[a]reas that are soaked or flooded by surface or ground water frequently enough or for sufficient duration to support plants, birds, animals, and aquatic life.” It is a broad term that encompasses a number of different bodies of water: swamps, marshes, bogs, mangroves, riverbanks, floodplains, and others, all incredibly rich in biodiversity. Wetlands serve as habitats for thousands of species of fish, mammals, birds, and reptiles, including many endangered species — loss of wetlands is therefore a serious threat to the survival of many animals. According to Secretary Jewell, wetlands also “provide us with clean water, act as buffers against storms, support our vibrant coastal fishing industries, and provide unique opportunities for outdoor recreation.”
Unfortunately, wetlands face innumerable threats: drainage to provide land for commercial endeavours like hotels and resorts as well as for agricultural farms; pesticide and toxic waste runoff from farms and factories, both of which pollute drinking water and impair the health of indigenous animals; invasive species that destroy habitats by consuming limited food resources; overfishing; global warming; industrial mineral mining; and the construction of dams, which destroys wetlands by diverting essential waterways.
Some argue that we have lost nearly fifty percent of our global wetlands in the past hundred years. As ecosystems that house thousands of species and provide clean drinking water, our wetlands need to be protected from the many threats they face. By signing the petition below you will applaud our federal government for fighting to help conserve our nation’s wetlands and hopefully encourage them to do even more.
Dear Secretary Jewell,
I was gladdened to hear that the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission recently approved $61.3 million to help restore and conserve over 200,000 acres of North American wetlands. Wetlands are some of our most ecologically important resources. They serve as habitats for an array of biologically diverse animals, including many endangered species that would not survive without wetland restoration and conservation. Wetlands also purify water, making it drinkable. However, wetlands face numerous threats from commercial expansion, toxic industrial runoff, invasive species, overfishing, and water diversion from nearby dams.
In order for our wetlands to survive, we need people like you in the government doing everything they can to protect our environment. I would like to applaud you and the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission for your recent work, which should go a long way towards protecting our wetlands.
[Your Name Here]
Photo by: Brian Bill, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Wikimedia Commons