Effect of ESA on Environmental Activist


I just finished up my portion of the ESA Stakeholder Project. After a few revisions I came down what you see below. As a part of the Environmental Activist group, I learned quite a bit about how the ESA effects this group and their ability to protect species. Obviously with a few sections like HCP, it makes the job of the environmental activist that much harder. But having the ESA allows them to protect species that they might not have been able to. I spoke to Kathryn the T.A who helped me shape my presentation and help me see the two types of Activist that arguably were created due to Section 10.


Changes to the ESA such as section 10 exceptions authorizing HCPs, has created two different types of environmental activists: compromising groups and the non-compromising groups. One compromising group is Save the Bay. Their goal is to save bay area species and habitats, not only for the good of the species but for our benefit as well.  The HCP exceptions limit what we can do to protect these habitats and species. Due to HCP exceptions there has been immense loss of habitat for things like commercial salt ponds and other building projects. These companies that build on these habitats are required to restore habitat in other areas, a process called mitigation

Loss of marshlands can cause unknown effects to the hundreds of species who rely on them, but also to people who live by the marshlands. These communities are left facing the risks of unchecked flooding with the loss of the wetlands. Since mitigation isn’t happening as often as we would hope, environmental groups such as Save the Bay have to rely on the community for funding and volunteering to restore these marshlands that so many endangered species rely on. Save the Bay must also spend more resources defending loss of habitat compared to restoring habitat. An example of this is when they spent years preventing SFO’s bay filling for extended runways from 1998-2003. They are also currently trying to prevent Cargill from filling 1,400 acres of restorable salt ponds in Redwood City. A positive that come from HCPs is the fact that Save the Bay is able to acquire land for restoration because companies are required to do so.


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