Good News for Loons on Mercury--Thanks to You

Here is something to be thankful for! Good news is on its way for loons and other wildlife suffering from mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants.

This holiday season, let's give thanks to all of the advocates like you who speak up to protect wildlife.

EPA Mercury HearingOver the summer, NWF Action Fund supporters submitted over 50,000 comments to the Environmental Protection Agency over the summer and spoke up at public hearings held by the EPA.

Thanks to your advocacy and quick response to attacks on the Clean Air Act, new limits on mercury and air toxics pollution from power plants that burn coal and oil are expected from the Environmental Protect Agency on December 16.

Attacks to Limits on Mercury Pollution

The mercury pollution limits have come under attack from legislators trying to block the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing the Clean Air Act. Senators Joe Manchin and Rob Portman attempted to block limits on mercury in the spring. The House of Representatives went so far as to pass the TRAIN Act, introduced by Rep. John Sullivan introduced in an attempt to dismantle core elements of the Clean Air Act--preventing the mercury rules from being adopted and blocking existing pollution limits.

Wildlife Harmed by Toxic Coal Pollution

Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of mercury pollution in our air. Their toxic pollution is carried in the wind before settling in local rivers and lakes--or in rivers and lakes that are as far as hundreds or thousands of miles away--and accumulating in fish.

Common loonCommon Loons are species especially harmed by mercury pollution because it builds up in their bodies over years of eating mercury-laden fish. Loons in the northern U.S. dive in lakes in search of fish, but far too many of the trout, yellow perch, and other fish that Common Loons catch are contaminated by unregulated toxic mercury from coal-burning power plants, harming the loons and their young.

Find out what iconic species in your area--from walleye to river otters to wood thrush songbirds--are at risk from air pollution in NWF's "Game Changers" report on air pollution and wildlife.

Mercury in fish also harms people who eat fish, and is of particular concern to children, women who may have children, and anglers who eat what they catch.

Thank You for Taking Action for Wildlife

Your efforts on behalf of the Common Loon, fish, otters and other wildlife at risk from mercury pollution are truly something for which I am thankful. 

As Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the EPA, recently said on the Daily Show, "environmentalism is not a spectator sport" and "we have to be vigilant in protecting our air and water."

Thank you for being involved and vigilant to protect wildlife and the clean air and water on which they depend.