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The Rachel Carson Council is a nationwide membership organization that engages and empowers our supporters to take effective action in communities and campuses at the local, state, and national level. With the leadership of our President and CEO, Dr. Robert K. Musil, the RCC is a respected voice for policy change in the nation’s capital.

In addition to our work on Capitol Hill, the RCC currently focuses its organizing at the grassroots level in North Carolina, Maryland, and Pennsyvania.

 


 Action Alerts

STOP THE STRANGLE! TELL CONGRESS TO SAY NO TO GILLNETS!

Gillnets used for commercial fishing trap far more than intended. Over 70 important marine species have been caught, strangled, and killed in gillnet lines including dolphins, sharks, sea turtles — even whales. These dangerous fishing lines are a threat to all marine life in their path and can stretch for miles along our US coastlines. Luckily, there are bipartisan bills in the Senate and the House to get rid of these killer netsNOW. The bill to end gillnetting was vetoed by President Trump in January of 2021 even after Congress passed it with bipartisan support! But now we can act to Stop the Strangle!

 

OUR WILDLIFE IS IN DANGER!

From pollution to habitat destruction to climate change, human actions have endangered the species that sustain our ecosystems. Currently, 64% of North American bird species are threatened, 40% of North America’s freshwater fish species are endangered or already extinct, and at least 8,500 of America’s plant and animal species are at risk of extinction. But you can help save them! Click here now to take action.

Tell your Senators that you want them to co-sponsor the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2021, (RAWA) (S. 2372), introduced by Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO).

 

TELL INTERIOR SECRETARY DEB HAALAND TO MAKE THE TEMPORARY PAUSE ON OIL AND GAS DRILLING LEASES PERMANENT! 07-26-21

In January, the White House temporarily paused granting leases for pending oil and gas drilling projects on publicly owned lands and waters. While the temporary moratorium on extraction leasing has no set end date, Secretary Deb Haaland announced that it would not be permanentBut drilling must stop for good! Deb Haaland has the power to do that.

On average, offshore drilling operations spill 157,000 barrels of oil every year. That equals 10 Olympic swimming pools of oil ruining our ocean ecosystems every year.

 

DANGEROUS DUKE ENERGY LOBBYISTS ARE AT IT AGAIN! 07-23-21 (Residents of North Carolina only)

Behind closed doors, Duke lobbyists and Republicans in Raleigh put together a bill that is terrible for the environment, the consumer, and North Carolina. AND NC House Republicans passed it in the middle of the night!

This bill will stick North Carolinians with the bill for Duke’s polluting natural gas infrastructure and massive fees for their minimal transitions to renewable solar energy. Duke says they’re helping North Carolina change to a clean energy economy, but they’re actually backing fossil fuels for decades to come.

 

PUFFINS AND OTHER THREATENED SEABIRD SPECIES ARE STARVING! 07-20-21

These iconic birds must eat to survive. But with less and less forage fish in the ocean, they often cannot find enough food. Forage fish are small fish relied on by puffins and other predators, but overfishing is exacerbating their population collapse. No forage fish, no food.

Some Atlantic Puffin colonies have decreased by 80% since the 1970s because of a lack of prey. We must act now, or these beloved birds will continue to go hungry. Click here to take action

 

CELEBRATE SHARK WEEK RIGHT: SAVE THE SHARKS 07-13-21

This shark week you may be drawn to TV shows and movies that exaggerate the danger of sharks. WE are the danger, not sharks. Shark attacks result in less than 10 fatalities per year. Humans kill about 275,000 sharks EVERY DAY. Most of these sharks are gruesomely killed by severing their top fin and throwing their bodies back into the ocean to bleed out, be eaten, ordrown. The fins are then traded legally and illegally across the world. YOU can help the US stop its support of this devastating trade.

 

KICK OFF PLASTIC FREE JULY! FREE NATIONAL PARKS FROM PLASTIC WASTE! 07-02-21

While packing a day bag for Yellowstone National Park, I made sure to fill up my Nalgene for the trip. They’ll have plenty of fill stations to keep me going, but I’ll take my largest bottle just in case. From the Grand Prismatic to Ole Faithful, out to the Eastern Falls and back west to Mammoth Hot Springs, I only found one fill-station for water bottles. I traveled 128 miles over 10hours with a grand total of 64 oz of water. Even picnic areas with bathroom infrastructure lacked so much as a rusty old water fountain.

 

 

S.O.S. SAVE OUR SEABIRDS! 07-01-21

We celebrated World Albatross Day on June 19th. But now this legendary seabird and other amazing species that roam the oceans need our help! Before it’s too late.

68% of albatross species and 50% of petrel species are threatened with extinction!

But you can take action NOW to send an S.O.S. and save the huge number of beloved albatrosses, petrels, and shearwaters that are killed by fisheries and plastic pollution every year.

 

SAY NO TO PLASTIC POLLUTION! SUPPORT THE BREAK FREE OF PLASTIC ACT 06-03-21

Every year, the U.S. mismanages 2.24 million tons of plastic waste, leaving it to flood into our oceans, lakes, and rivers. As the world’s largest producer of plastic pollution, the U.S. must take strong action to stop plastic pollution at the source.

Our recycling systems were not designed to keep up with the catastrophic rate of plastic production today, and these systems continue to failunder the pressure. Plastic waste now fills our coastlines and the shores of countries overseas where we export our waste. Plastic is pollution. We should regulate it as such!


Community Efforts

The Sampson County Public Hearing on Wood Pellets and the Industry that Divided It

On July 15, 2019 environmentalists and community members from across the state of North Carolina and visitors from Virginia and the United Kingdom showed up and gave public testimony against the proposed expansion of Enviva Sampson, an industrial wood pellet producer. Their words spoke truth to power, and the message was clear – North Carolinians want an end to the wood pellet industry in their state.

As detailed in our 2019 report, Clear Cut, Enviva has entrenched itself in North Carolina. It is a part of a system which harms the environment, perpetuates injustices against frontline groups, and divides communities under the guise of economic development.

Returning Home?

Eastern North Carolina and its beautiful coast has and always will be home to me. I work now for the Rachel Carson Council (RCC) in Washington, DC, but this past week, I was able to return home to continue critical work being done by the RCC and others to protect the unique environments and communities that also call the area home. Growing up in North Carolina, respect and awe for the natural world around me were instilled from an early age. I remember warm summer nights with the constant hum of cicadas when I would stay up to the wee hours of the morning to watch for sea turtle hatchlings boiling out of the sand and scramble to the safety of the ocean. I remember taking back country roads and driving for miles with nothing but lush forests on either side of the road

Environmental advocates discuss wood pellet industry’s impact on humans and the environment

Environmental advocacy groups gathered Friday to discuss the impact of the wood pellet industry on climate and public health during a boat ride on the Cape Fear River in Wilmington. People from groups including the Rachel Carson Council, Carolina Wetlands Association, NAACP, Alliance for Cape Fear Trees, Wood Pellet Forum, Cape Fear Sierra Club, and Clean Air Carolina attended. Dr. Kyle Horton, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, was also in attendance. The boat travelled past wood pellet dome silos maintained by Enviva. The boat travelled past wood pellet dome silos maintained by Enviva, a company that bills itself as the world’s largest producer of wood pellets.

Don’t Burn Trees to Fight Climate Change—Let Them Grow

Of all the solutions to climate change, ones that involve trees make people the happiest. Earlier this year, when a Swiss study announced that planting 1.2 trillion trees might cancel out a decade’s worth of carbon emissions, people swooned (at least on Twitter). And last month, when Ethiopian officials announced that twenty-three million of their citizens had planted three hundred and fifty million trees in a single day, the swooning intensified. Someone tweeted, “This should be like the ice bucket challenge thing.” So it may surprise you to learn that, at the moment, the main way in which the world employs trees to fight climate change is by cutting them down and burning them. Across much of Europe, countries and utilities are meeting their carbon-reduction targets by importing wood pellets from the southeastern United States and burning them in place of coal: giant ships keep up a steady flow of wood across the Atlantic.

Northampton County, NC: More Enviva Expansion?

On August 20, The Rachel Carson Council (RCC) called yet again for environmentalists, activists and community members to provide testimony for the third proposed expansion of an Enviva plant in North Carolina in less than a year. The Northampton County Enviva plant is seeking to grow its operations to produce 780,000 tons of wood pellets per year. That equals approximately 18,000 acres of forestland destruction in North Carolina and Virginia. At a time when the climate crisis is getting worse, and with clear science showing the destructive nature of the wood pellet industry, such expansions are absolutely unacceptable.

The Enviva Southampton Plant & Enviva’s Fourth Expansion in a Year

In an unsurprising turn of events, Enviva has applied for its fourth expansion permit in under a year for its Southampton Plant located in Franklin, Virginia. This expansion would increase production by 246,000 tons per year equaling another 5,600 acres of forests cut down annually. This is unacceptable. We are on the precipice of climate disaster, and the only tried and true way to draw down carbon from the atmosphere is through the protection and expansion of biodiverse forests. Every week, more reports and investigations are demonstrating that forests are key to any climate solution and that the wood pellet industry is failing to properly source its materials, failing to protect communities’ health, and worsening our climate through its operations.