Endangered Species Act

My work this summer focuses on the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA is a law that was implemented in 1973 which recognizes “species of fish, wildlife, and plants are as esthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational, and scientific value to the Nation and its people.” Under this law it is prohibited to take an endangered or threatened species also known as listed species. The purpose of ESA is to protect and conserve listed species and their ecosystem, so that the species can recover and self-sustain itself without further protection by federal agencies in the future.

ESA is the backbone of NOAA Fisheries and the entirety of work they do. This is because NOAA Fisheries allows authorization of take whether it be direct or incidental of listed species under their jurisdiction. This allows states, privates, federals, and tribes to proceed with their programs knowing they will not violate the ESA only if the program does not jeopardize or imposes any adverse modification on the critical habitat.

Learning and understanding the ESA was a big challenge. The next step of my project is to determine and distinguish the different pathways of ESA. Whether the programs or projects proposed by state, federal, or tribe falls under one of the 4(d) limits, section 7 or section 10, all of which allows some form of take or incidental take. If you aren’t lost already and have no clue what I’m talking about. It is totally fine, because my goal by the end of the summer is to make the processes digestible for the applicants.

The work I do does not involve much field, however I did get the opportunity to visit some habitat sites a co-worker of mine has worked on involving section 7 consultation. In addition, Wes the other OSG summer scholar and I had the opportunity to attend a meeting up in Washington. On our way back home, we took a detour to a NOAA retiree’s house, where we harvested clams and oysters for the first time. Taking about clams, I should cook some now. Until next blog, I’ll let you know about the boat trip and the salmon hatchery tour. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3 thoughts on “Endangered Species Act

  1. Yes, the ESA is still nebulous, even to those of us that work on it every day! This is why your project is so important, so that the applicants we work with can quickly digest the important pieces of ESA!

    Also, clams? I’m so jealous!

  2. It sounds like you are getting a very in depth understanding of the ESA this summer – how do you think this experience might help you when you return to school in the fall?

  3. Wow, it sounds like you’ve already done a great job of learning about a really complex and important law. Making this information more readily understandable to applicants will be a major contribution!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.