Funding cuts proposed for the Marine Turtle Conservation Fund!

Date: March 8, 2007
Contact: Marydele Donnelly
Phone: (352) 373-6441

Action deadline: Ended March 15, 2007
How You Can Help

You can help prevent big cuts in programs that protect marine turtles, and other imperiled species such as tigers, rhinos, elephants, great apes, and neotropical migratory birds. President Bush has again asked Congress to slash funding for these initiatives under the Multinational Species Conservation Funds. STC activists helped to stop similar cuts in each of the last two years and convinced Congress to increase some of the funding. We need your help again.

These small programs desperately need to be increased, not cut. This year, with Congress under Democratic control, there is an historic opportunity to push for increases in these programs. Your Members of Congress have until March 15th to urge key committees to increase the funding.

These programs have been hugely successful for all these species, providing grants for anti-poaching, surveys, public education, disease control, and innovative efforts to resolve human-animal conflicts.


TAKE ACTION: Learn more and urge your Members of Congress to support strong funding for the conservation of marine turtles and other endangered species.

* Call the Washington, DC or local office of your Member of Congress and two Senators before March 15 and make the main points from the letter below. You can reach your legislators via the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Contact your Representative in the U.S. Congress

Contact your Senator in the U.S. Congress

* Forward this alert to your friends and colleagues!

Thank you for your help. It really makes a difference.


Dear (insert the names of your U.S. Senators and Representative here):

I urge you to sign a Dear Colleague letter to the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee in support of the Multinational Species Conservation Funds for fiscal year 2008. These funds safeguard marine turtles, tigers, rhinos, elephants, great apes, and neotropical migratory birds, and help to ensure these animals are protected from extinction. The Dear Colleague letter is co-sponsored by Representatives George Miller (D-CA), Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), Don Young (R-AK), and Henry Brown (R-SC).

Last year the funding for these critical programs totaled $10.5 million. This year the administration wants to reduce it to $8.2 million. These programs provide great value and thus I urge you to request $15 million, allocated as follows:

  • $1.5 million for the Marine Turtle Fund
  • $2 million each for the Asian Elephant Fund, the African Elephant Fund, and the Great Apes Fund
  • $2.5 million for the combined Rhino-Tiger Fund
  • $5 million for the Neo-tropical Migratory Bird Fund

Please sign the Dear Colleague letter, which is being circulated by Representative George Miller in the House and Senator Lieberman in the Senate in support of these programs.

These funds have a solid record of success —all of these species have increased or held their own in the face of continuing threats to their survival.

The countries that are home to these creatures struggle with poverty, insurgencies, and natural disasters which affect their ability to manage conservation programs. The Marine Turtle Conservation Fund especially needs more support, as grant requests have far outstripped the modest resources of this newest and smallest of the programs. Only about a quarter of the applications have been funded over the last two years for just under $800,000. These initiatives have succeeded in protecting vulnerable turtles from being captured on nesting beaches, and supported turtle-based tourism and conservation education. Please do all you can to support these magnificent species.

The Funds stimulate public-private partnerships and leverage three times as much in additional monies from conservation groups, corporations, and governments. They provide greater economic security for human populations in areas where these species are found. Employment and education programs contribute to domestic stability and produce concomitant benefits for American foreign policy. In addition, many of these programs protect forest habitats that are essential to the control of global warming.