Today we are at a conservation
crossroad: Extinction or Recovery. 40 years ago, thousands of
species in the United States faced imminent extinction. A public outcry
arose, and in 1973, a bi-partisan Congress passed the Endangered Species
Act. Since then the extinction of thousands of species has been
prevented, including iconic creatures like the American bald eagle, the
California Condor, the Florida Manatee, and the Gray Wolf. However on
the 40th anniversary of the ESA, more than half of the species listed as
endangered are in decline. Hundreds of other species await potential
listing. Our country needs to take bold action to ensure abundant natural
resources for future generations.
diverse ecosystems provide Americans with essential life-sustaining
"eco-system" services virtually free of charge. Economists have
estimated the value of our ecosystems to be about $1.6 trillion annually, which
is equivalent to more than 10% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. Our
National Refuge System alone produces at least $32.3 billion annually in
benefits from ecosystem services.
The ESA provides:
For example, the marshlands near the Charles River in Boston give flood
control worth $72,000 per acre.
which saves $6 billion to $8 billion per year and annual operating cost of
an estimated $3 billion to $8 billion per year.
which is worth $6 billion a year.
Agriculture wherein threatened species
save the agricultural industry at least $3.7 billion per year.
Recreation, Wildlife Tourism and Employment. The total spent in 2012 for outdoor recreation was $646 billion, generating $1.6 trillion in total economic activity and 12 million U.S. jobs.
Medical Benefits. Certain floras have helped millions of Americans with cancer and heart disease. The ESA ensures these one of a kind remedies will not disappear.
Grey Wolves in Yellowstone National Park bring an estimated $35 million in annual tourist revenue to the region, partly by establishing a thriving, formerly non-existent, winter tourism, which filters through the local economy.
Endangered Whales entertain more than 6 million watchers in the U.S. and Canada, generating $1 billion.
Pacific Salmon value is estimated to be $475 million and created 1,750 jobs and $154 million in economic growth.
Florida Manatees draw 400,000 visitors each year who spend $20 million.
Ocelots provide $9.3 million to the local economy of state parks in Texas.
The following is a link
to the Defenders of Wildlife Program: Conservation Crossroads: Extinction
. It is time to take action.