Endangered Species Act



The Endangered Species Act of 1973 strengthened earlier versions of the Act to not only consider protecting species, but also their habitats. Through federal action and by encouraging the establishment of state programs, the 1973 Endangered Species Act provided for the conservation of ecosystems upon which threatened and endangered species of fish, wildlife, and plants depend. Section 6 of the Act provided funding for development of programs for management of threatened and endangered species by state wildlife agencies. Subsequently, lists of endangered and threatened species within their boundaries have been prepared by each state. These state lists often include species which are considered endangered or threatened within a specific state but not within all states, and which therefore are not included on the national list of endangered and threatened species.

The ESA was signed on December 28, 1973 by President Nixon. It is administered by two federal agencies. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has responsibility over freshwater fish and all other species. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) handles marine species. Species that occur in both habitats are jointly managed.

How BNL Complies

In 1975, BNL hired an ecologist, Jan Naidu, PhD., whose early work focused on evaluating the impacts of the Lab operations on groundwater, surface water, and biota. Dr. Naidu was the principal editor and a contributing author of the annual Site Environmental Report from 1976 through 1998 and was instrumental in improving BNL's groundwater monitoring program during the 1980s. He managed the Environmental Protection Program from 1981 until 1991 when the Office of Environmental Restoration was formed.

In 1994, a site-wide biological inventory was performed and in the mid-1990s BNL began developing a wildlife management program. This program was to be guided by the Wildlife Management Plan (WMP), which was reviewed and approved by various state and federal agencies in September 1999. The WMP addressed the protection of New York State threatened, endangered, or species of concern, as well as deer populations, invasive species management, and the revegetation of the area surrounding the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). The WMP provided a strong and sound basis for wildlife management and established a basis for forward motion and the development a Natural Resource Management Plan (NRMP), which guides BNL's Natural Resource Management Program.

BNL's NRMP provides management guidance, promotes stewardship of the natural resources found at BNL, and integrates their protection with pursuit of the Laboratorys mission. The guiding principles of the NRMP are stewardship, adaptive ecosystem management, compliance, integration with other plans and requirements, and incorporation of community involvement, where applicable.

Documents / Links

2009 Site Environmental Report Chapter 3, Compliance Status

NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Program