Friday, August 31, 2018

House Returns To Session Sept. 12 Now’s The Time To Become A Hellbender Defender!

A group of inspiring young people on the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Student Leadership Council are working to restore Pennsylvania's waters with a one-of-a-kind critter-- the Eastern Hellbender.
And, they are asking YOU to become a Hellbender Defender!
These salamanders rely on cold, clear, and swift-running water for survival. But roughly 19,000 miles of Keystone State rivers and streams are polluted, and hellbenders are quickly vanishing from the region.
The students are drawing attention to the Hellbender's plight by working to designate the salamander as Pennsylvania's official state amphibian.
After studying Hellbenders and meeting with legislators, the students wrote Senate Bill 658, which passed the State Senate in November of 2017 and has been sitting in the House ever since.
But the job is only half done, as the Hellbender now needs support in the state House.
The Hellbender effort has gained national attention, making it onto the front page of the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press and as the subject of the iconic Mark Trail Sunday comic strip.
But attention isn’t enough.
The students are asking that this vanishing animal be recognized and given an opportunity to rebound. The students and the hellbender deserve an answer.
As advocates for the hellbender’s survival, these students are learning how legislation is created and how Pennsylvania’s political process works—they know they can play a role in shaping their own futures and restoring the health of their local rivers and streams.
These young leaders have done their due diligence to highlight the critter’s place in the continued fight for clean water.
Click Here to urge your representative-- before the House reconvenes on September 12-- to support the hellbender bill, Senate Bill 658 (Yaw-R-Lycoming)!
Use For Profile Picture Or Wallpaper
Show your support by using the Hellbender Defender image as your Profile Photo and repost on your social media.
If you want a Hellbender Defender press-on tattoo like the image abov(from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA), email your address to:  PA Environment Digest will send them out as long as our supply of 100 lasts.  (We will immediately discard your address.  We have no need for it.)
Hellbender Crowd-Funding Initiative
The Clean Water Institute of Lycoming College now has a crowd-funding initiative underway to restore Eastern Hellbender populations in Pennsylvania and New York over the next three years.  Click Here to learn more or to donate.
For more on Chesapeake Bay-related issues in Pennsylvania, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA webpage.  Click Here to sign up for Pennsylvania updates (bottom of left column).  Click Here to support their work.
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