Hundreds of thousands of Americans just sent a resounding message in support of one of our nation's most effective conservation laws.

On Sept. 4, Environment North Carolina joined a broad coalition in submitting 800,000 public comments on the Trump administration's proposal to weaken the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposed change would make it easier to take protected status away from vulnerable species, and harder to protect the habitat they depend on to survive. Our staff used social media to keep the spotlight on the ESA, gathered comments from our members and supporters, and enlisted the help of Chicago's Brookfield Zoo to build awareness and generate more action and support.

"We live in a world of excess, but we’re rapidly losing nature, including healthy habitats and their rich tapestry of species," said Emma Shumway, a conservation fellow with our national network. "Weakening this vital conservation tool is simply the wrong choice."

Since the ESA was adopted in 1973, more than 99 percent of protected species have survived or thrived.

Photo: Florida panthers are among the species protected by the Endangered Species Act. Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (CC BY-ND 2.0)