[CT Birds] Threats to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and draft 5-year plan that would permit for offshore drilling in the Atlantic

Folsom-O'Keefe, Corrie cfolsom-okeefe at audubon.org
Fri Jan 19 13:46:32 EST 2018

Dear CT Birders,

  You may have heard that in late December, a memorandum was sent to the Dept. of the Interior that reduced the power of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  In a nutshell, the MBTA prohibits the killing of birds.  For the last 100 years, this included both intentional and incidental (not intended but could have been reasonably anticipated and prevented) harm to birds and the Act has been used to work with industries, commercial operations, etc to reduce incidental harm.  The Dec. memo redefined the killing of birds as just intentional, striping the Act of its power to find reasonable solutions when birds are incidentally harmed.  Worse still, there is legislation being considered by Congress, H.R. 4239 - the "SECURE American Energy Act" - that would cement this interpretation and permanently end the government's ability to address major sources of bird mortality from industrial activities.

You can read more about the memorandum at:  

And the following link can be used to share your concern with our legislators. Please consider commenting.  

On another topic, many of you have probably already heard about the current Administration's release of the draft 5-year plan for the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program that would permit off shore drilling for oil in areas of the Atlantic that were off limits in the previous plan.  There is an informational meeting scheduled for Feb. 13th, where concerned citizens and organizations can learn more about the plan and ask questions.  Audubon CT's policy manager, Genese Leach, will be attending the Hartford meeting and we plan to submit comments after learning more.  

Information about the meeting is available at: http://ct.audubon.org/events/public-meeting-offshore-drilling   Please consider attending.
Here is National Audubon's Statement on the plan: http://www.audubon.org/news/white-house-plans-vastly-expand-drilling-near-americas-beaches-and-coasts   
Comments can be submitted via this link: https://act.audubon.org/onlineactions/e_Vm3cJ1d0WzmFBz_TQ2sA2   

Thank you,

Corrie Folsom-O'Keefe

Bird Conservation Programs Manager
Audubon Connecticut
Cfolsom-okeefe at audubon.org

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