For Immediate Release: May 17, 2023
U.S. Celebrates a Special Endangered Species Day this Friday
Events Planned Nationwide Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act
Washington, D.C. – On Friday, May 19, thousands of Americans are participating in Endangered Species Day events and activities across the country, in recognition of our nation’s commitment to protecting and restoring our disappearing wildlife. This is the 18th annual Endangered Species Day, which occurs on the third Friday of May.
This Endangered Species Day will also commemorate an important milestone: the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act. The immensely popular, successful, and historic piece of legislation has been at the core of our country’s commitment to protecting wildlife and the natural world since 1973. 99% of species protected under the Endangered Species Act have been saved from extinction. The Endangered Species Act is currently helping protect more than 2,000 species of plants and animals that are threatened or endangered.
“Endangered Species Day and 50th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act both celebrate our national responsibility to future generations to be good stewards of nature,” stated Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition, primary sponsor of Endangered Species Day. “The Endangered Species Act is a declaration to the world that we will not rob our children of the opportunity to hear the cry of the bald eagle or enjoy the clean air and water upon which people and wildlife depend.”
The Endangered Species Act was passed because Americans believed then – as they do now – that protecting our wildlife is a moral imperative and a responsibility to future generations, our nation’s environmental health, our fellow creatures, and the heart of the American way of life. President Biden, a Senator in 1973, was an original co-sponsor of the Endangered Species Act, as well as a sponsor of the 2006 Senate resolution creating Endangered Species Day.
On May 19th, and throughout May, wildlife refuges, zoos, aquariums, parks, botanic gardens, schools, libraries, museums, and community groups will hold Endangered Species Day events, many with an Endangered Species Act 50th Anniversary theme. Some highlights include:
- A nationwide chalk art contest, hosted by the Endangered Species Coalition;
- Colorado Endangered Species Week, a week of free educational events and fun advocacy opportunities to protect the plant and animal species at risk in Colorado, including a discussion about boreal toads, a bat walk, and an auction, hosted by Rocky Mountain Wild and other organizations;
- A series of virtual conservation career panels for high school and college students;
- Special exhibits and activities at zoos around the country, including Zoo Idaho, the Saint Louis Zoo, and Zoo Atlanta;
- The unveiling of the Southwestern Mural – the first of a series of murals planned for the Endangered Species Act 50th Anniversary – in Doña Ana County, New Mexico.
- Pollinator garden plantings in states across the U.S. to create habitat for native bees, butterflies, and other pollinator species.
These and other events are listed in an event directory on the Endangered Species Day website.
In addition to the Endangered Species Coalition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), numerous conservation, education, community and youth organizations have also supported and participated in Endangered Species Day, including the Girl Scouts USA, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, National Wildlife Federation, Defenders of Wildlife, Sustainable Ocean Alliance, the Humane Society of the United States, and many more.
For more information on Endangered Species Day, including event locations and a variety of educational resource materials, visit www.endangeredspeciesday.org.