The Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge, near Theodore Roosevelt’s summer White House, is among the nation’s 10 most endangered wildlife refuges, according to a new report from an environmental group.
The area was on the second annual list because of environmental threats from storm water runoff and sewage discharge from motorboats, as well as inadequate septic systems, the Washington-based environmental group Defenders of Wildlife said.
Defenders of Wildlife chose to announce its list at Sagamore Hill on Long Island, citing the irony that a refuge just steps from the home of one of the nation’s best-known environmentalists was considered endangered.
Roosevelt preserved some 230 million acres of federal land, including the Grand Canyon. He created the nation’s first wildlife refuges and national monuments, and added greatly to its national parks and national forests.
“Today we have 545 different refuges, but this one is sort of the poster child. If we lose this one, what’s going to happen to the rest of them?” said Kyle Rabin, executive director of Friends of the Bay, a local environmental group.
The list also includes Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; Browns Park in Colorado; Buenos Aires refuge in Arizona; and the Sonny Bono Salton Sea refuge in California. Others on the list include the Florida Panther refuge; McFaddin refuge in Texas; Missouri’s Mingo refuge; Nevada’s Moapa refuge; and North Carolina’s Pocosin Lakes refuge.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge made the group’s list for a second straight year as a debate rages over whether to open the area to oil and gas drilling.
Defenders of Wildlife blamed air and water pollution, overdevelopment and government neglect for many of the problems at the refuges across the country.
Details on the list is online at www.defenders.org/refuges.