Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Protect the Diamond Darter

A small, shimmery fish from West Virginia urgently needs your help. The diamond darter -- aptly named for the sparkling reflections it casts -- is easily one of the most endangered fish in the world. In the past 30 years, fewer than 20 of these translucent fish have been spotted. And new threats from mountaintop-removal coal mining and fracking could quickly push this very rare fish to extinction.

The diamond darter once swam in the rivers of Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia – but today it survives only in a 22-mile section of the Elk River in West Virginia, where it faces dire threats from the energy industry.

In 2012 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to protect the diamond darter under the Endangered Species Act with critical habitat. Now the energy industry is opposing the darter's protection, even though both federal and state biologists have acknowledged that the diamond darter needs Endangered Species Act protections in order to survive.

West Virginia's coal mining doesn't threaten just this rare fish: Numerous scientific studies have linked pollution from coal mining to increased incidence of disease in nearby human communities. Protecting habitat for the diamond darter will help protect drinking water for people.

Don't let Fish and Wildlife bend for misguided pressures and private interests. Take action now to help protect the diamond darter.

Take action here: http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY...

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