IFAW’s Faye Cuevas with Former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt and Honoree Rep. Betty McCollum

Last night IFAW and a coalition of conservation advocates honored Members of Congress who have championed the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and have supported the protection of imperiled species in the U.S. and abroad.

The ESA is one of the nation’s most important environmental laws. Its protections have led to the recovery of some of America’s most beloved and ecologically important animals. (In fact, baby bald eagles—a great example of ESA recovery and a longstanding symbol of patriotism—hatched today here in D.C. to a delighted public!)

Despite its many successes, the ESA has been under attack in recent years, with everything from the Act’s scientific underpinnings to individual protected species facing threats. Fortunately, vocal advocates in Congress have tirelessly defended the ESA and the natural treasures that the law protects, fighting a long, uphill battle to preserve the Act’s integrity.

Among these Congressional champions are last night’s awardees, including Senators Cory Booker, Barbara Boxer, Tom Udall and Sheldon Whitehouse, as well as Representatives Don Beyer, Raul Grijalva, Betty McCollum and Niki Tsongas. Each of these Members has recognized that protecting our nation’s imperiled wildlife and natural heritage benefits all Americans. They have worked to block anti-ESA riders to appropriations bills, opposed legislative interference with the Fish and Wildlife Service’s science-based listing decisions, and defended protected species and critical habitat.

I applaud these Members and their impressive records, and I look forward to working with Congress—and with you—to ensure that the ESA continues to protect wildlife.

–CB

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Article source: IFAW

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