Earth Day marks the anniversary of the movement in 1970 to raise environmental awareness. It’s a time when people pitch in to pick up litter, plant trees and pollinator gardens…and do what we can to reduce the harm we are doing to the world around us.
It’s a time when we come together to recognize how important it is to ensure that our world is a healthier place to live for our families and communities, including fish and wildlife. Biodiversity is essential for own existence and well-being.
At the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we are rising to meet this moment by working with others to leverage our shared expertise and creativity manage natural resources for today and the future.
Climate change is a threat multiplier that compounds the challenges the Service wrestles with every day, including the loss of biodiversity, habitat fragmentation, drought, wildfire, wildlife disease, and invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.
Learn more about invasive species .
From the Arctic to the Everglades, we see the evidence of change. In response to climate change climate change
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.
Learn more about climate change we’re seeing altered behavior and physiology in fish and wildlife and we’re witnessing novel ecological relationships emerge as species shift where they live and when they live there. It’s what we call spatial and temporal distributions.
But we shouldn’t lose hope. One way that the Service is helping to support climate adaptation is by using nature-based solutions. This includes supporting natural and nature-based (green) infrastructure like wetlands, nature-based climate mitigation to reduce emissions and support carbon sequestration, and promoting climate-smart buildings and built infrastructure.
For example, we’re using nature-based solutions for coastal adaptation that includes the installation of oyster reefs and living shorelines. I encourage you to take a moment to read some of our climate stories about the important work that’s happening across the Service.
By advancing climate resilience, we also support, restore, and improve habitat and critically important wildlife breeding areas and the recovery of threatened and endangered species that are at risk of extinction.
Speaking of recovery… Did you know that the Endangered Species Act (ESA) turns 50 years old this year?
The ESA was enacted to prevent the loss or harm of endangered and threatened wildlife and plant species and to preserve the places they live. Since it was signed into law in 1973, more than 99 percent of all species listed under the law are still with us today.
Every day, we fulfill our conservation mission by working with others. We’re proud to work side by side with our Department of the Interior and federal government colleagues, States, Tribes and Indigenous communities, non-governmental organizations, private landowners, other partners, and underrepresented people to support healthy ecosystems, thriving fish and wildlife populations, and vibrant neighborhoods.
We’re bringing the full power of our workforce to ensure a sustainable future and we encourage you to join us in helping nature flourish on Earth Day and every day.
Here’s to a healthy planet!!
-- Martha Williams