Pssst. It's the Holidays. Are you ready?

If you’re like me, you wait to the very last second to buy gifts.  Luckily, NRDC has made it easy this year to buy environmentally friendly (and tax deductible) gifts with its Green Gifts.

The holiday season is already in full throttle.  For me, it’s a whirlwind season filled with family, friends, and good cheer.  The holidays are not only a time of joy, but also a time for reflection as the year ends.  That’s why I write my “gratitude” list every year, which details all the things I’m thankful for throughout the year.  Several marine mammal victories here at NRDC made my 2011 list:

  • Beluga whales.  Just days before Thanksgiving, a federal judge ruled in our favor and upheld endangered species protection for Cook Inlet beluga whales.  NRDC has been fighting for years to protect these magical whales – which currently number less than 400.  NRDC intervened in the lawsuit last year after the State of Alaska sued the National Marine Fisheries Service for listing the whales as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The State of Alaska has until December 21st to decide whether to appeal the decision.
  • Commercial whaling.  In September, President Obama imposed diplomatic sanctions against Iceland to encourage an end to its commercial whaling.  The President’s actions are in response to a petition brought by NRDC and 18 other animal welfare and conservation groups under the Pelly Amendment to the Fisherman’s Protective Act. 
  • Navy sonar lawsuit. We recently finished summary judgment briefing in our case against the Navy challenging its plan to build a 100 million dollar permanent underwater sonar training facility off the coast of northeastern Florida – right next to the only known calving grounds for the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale.  There are only about 300-400 North Atlantic right whales left on the planet.
  • Pebble Mine.  NRDC continues to oppose Pebble Mine, a giant gold and copper mine proposed at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska.  We just released a poll that reveals a significant majority of Americans in the lower 48 (77%) and Alaska (68%) oppose Pebble Mine.  It is a colossally bad idea that would dump 10 billion tons of mining waste at the headwaters of the greatest wild salmon fishery in the world.  Salmon sustain the entire web of life in the region – from fishermen, to Alaska Natives, to grizzles, eagles, seals, and whales. 

I am grateful to make a difference in the lives of marine mammals, through victories both large and small.  I am grateful to find my livelihood in my passion.  And I am grateful for the opportunity here at NRDC to make a difference.

If you would like to make a difference this holiday season, please consider buying a Green Gift from NRDC.  There are over 50 gifts to choose from– all aimed at saving the environment.

Many of these gifts will help fund the work that I described in my gratitude list above.  Here are my personal favorites.  Disclaimer - family and friends, be prepared to receive one of these gifts from me this year!  Simply click on the picture to follow the link:

Save the Cook Inlet Belugas

Image removed.

End Commercial Whaling

Image removed.

Defend Whales from Deadly Sonar

Image removed.

Stop the Pebble Mine

Image removed.

The holidays are a time of joy.  A time for gratitude.  A time to spend with family and friends.  A time to give.  Click here to give the gift of green.