NEW CITY, Connecticut– The Center for Biological Diversity and Frostpaw, the Centre’s polar bear mascot, will have a booth on Newtown Earth Day on Saturday, April 23 to hand out endangered species postcards that urge Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to increase funding for endangered species and help stem the global extinction crisis.
As chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, Rep. DeLauro and Senator Leahy are two of the most powerful members of Congress, overseeing allocations of funds for federal agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. .
Last month, Congress passed a spending bill that failed to adequately protect endangered species. For example, funding for the recovery of the country’s 1,800 threatened species increased by just $3 million, while funding for the listing program remained frozen at last year’s levels. The Service needs an increase of over $400 million to meet the current needs of our most endangered animals and plants.
“From polar bears to whooping cranes, our world’s most iconic animals are at risk of disappearing forever if key political leaders don’t act immediately,” said Stephanie Kurose, senior policy specialist at the Center. “Now more than ever, we need Congress to do everything possible to stop the extinction crisis. Otherwise, Earth Day will no longer be a day of celebration, but a day of mourning.
Endangered species postcards will feature the North Atlantic Right Whale, Saltmarsh Sparrow, Little Pondmussel and Northern Myotis. All of these northeastern species are currently protected and either need more funding for their recovery or are awaiting protection under the Endangered Species Act, as is the Savannah Sparrow salty.
What: Earth Day celebration in Newtown
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern time), Saturday, April 23.
Or: Newtown Middle School, 11 Queen Street, Newtown, CT 06470
Who: Stephanie Kurose, Senior Policy Specialist at the Centre, will be dressed as Frostpaw the Polar Bear and will be available for comment.