After writing to Mikulski and Sarbanes (both Maryland senators) about a recent bill that would alter the Endangered Species Act, I received the following message from Senator Mikulski:
Dear Mr. Bruno,
Thank you for contacting me about protecting our world's endangered species. It's very good to hear from you.
I want you to know that I have always been a strong supporter of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). As one of the many Marylanders who treasure the Chesapeake Bay , I know just how important it is to preserve and protect our environment for future generations.
You will be happy to know that Senate Resolution 431 (S. Res. 431) recently passed the Senate by unanimous consent. This resolution designates May 11, 2006 as Endangered Species Day and encourages Americans to educate themselves about threats to species, as well as stories of successful species recovery.
I also share your concerns about H.R. 3824, which in its current form would weaken the Endangered Species Act. This bill would repeal "critical habitat" requirements, currently designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the areas where endangered species have been found. H.R. 3824 is currently pending in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. You can be sure that I will keep your views in mind when this bill is reviewed by the full Senate.
Thanks again for bringing your concerns to my attention. Please let me know if I can be of assistance to you in the future.Sincerely,
Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator
Another "slight" environmental change by the GOP (although I did hear tonight that a large section of coral reef near Hawaii was declared a National Treasure by Bush today).
Both Sarbanes and Mikulski supported Endangered Species Day on a list of 27 other senators from across the country.
Looked like a great opportunity to spread the word about biodiversity. We're stumbling through a critical time right now; we need more initiatives like this to convince people of the world's value, both economically and morally.