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Watershed activists lead march around City Hall for loss of 350,000 Atlantic Sturgeon

Watershed activists lead march around City Hall for loss of 350,000 Atlantic Sturgeon

Demonstrators highlighted the declining population and pointed to government agencies to take action.

Over 50 activists, indigenous leaders, and environmental advocates participated in a protest around Philadelphia’s City Hall on Wednesday to raise awareness for the loss of Delaware River’s Atlantic Sturgeon population. Protesters wore black in for a mock “funeral” procession for the endangered Delaware River Atlantic Sturgeon. Less than 250 spawning adults are left in the Delaware River.

There are two species of sturgeon that live in the Delaware River: the Shortnose Sturgeon, which has a stable population, and the Atlantic Sturgeon, which is endangered. The Atlantic Sturgeon has been listed as a federally protected endangered species since 2012.

Photo: Delaware Riverkeeper Network

Activists named regulatory agencies including the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Marine Fisheries Service (also known as NOAA Fisheries) as not protecting the sturgeon from pollution, vessel strikes, habitat destruction, fossil fuels and climate change.

“Our Delaware River Atlantic Sturgeon live nowhere else on earth but in our beautiful Delaware River.  If our agencies fail to do everything they can to protect them, they will have betrayed their oath of office, betrayed future generation’s who will be denied the beauty and joy of our River’s genetically unique sturgeon, and will have acted with an unforgivable hubris believing they were entitled to wipe out a genetically unique population of sturgeon without apology or concern, ” stated Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper and leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.

Photo: Delaware Riverkeeper Network

Citizens can visit Save the Sturgeon for more information and sign the petition to urge agencies to protect the Atlantic Sturgeon.

Cover photo: Reverend Jesse Brown

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher
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