Essay Sample on Conservation Ecology

Published: 2023-03-06
Essay Sample on Conservation Ecology
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  United States Law Ecology
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 765 words
7 min read

The laws of the United States have been enacted to facilitate the interaction between human beings and the environment. The Endangered Species At and the National Environmental policy Acts are some of the laws that have passed the US congress (Van, 2008). In this paper, it is essential to discuss the origin, drawbacks and my opinion on the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act.

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The Endangered Species Act

The Endangered species Act was first passed in 1966. The Act was enacted to halt and preserve the jeopardized animals. Also, it limited the protection of the vertebrates. It did not create any program or legal powers to facilitate the protection of the species. In 1969, the endangered Species Conservation Act succeeded the ESA of 1966. The new Act expanded the fish and wildlife brackets by incorporating the invertebrates. However, it illegalized the importation of foreign species except those intended for scientific works (Van, 2008).

The 1966 Act was still too weak to protect the endangered species. In 1972, the then U.S undersecretary of the US Department of the interior, E. U. Curtis Bohlen, rewrote the Endangered Species Act which included the vertebrates, plants, and animal species. The 1973 ESA gave birth to the concept of "designated critical habitats" that focused on protecting the land and water that was occupied by the species. The 1973 ESA is administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (Van, 2008).

The success of the Endangered Species Act of 1973

By January 2019, about 1467 species were included in the endangered lists. Some of these species have increased in population. For instance, the bald eagle increased from 417 to 11040 from 1963 to 2007, and the whooping crane increased from 54 to 436 birds between 1967 and 2003 (Raymond, 2018).

The Critics of the Endangered Species Act

The critics of ESA argue that the Act has been ineffective since it has only managed to save a few species. Despite that, the list of endangered species is more than 1400 more decades down the line only 28 of them have recovered, which is the success rate of 1%. Others argue that ESA would encourage habitat destruction because they fear that their lands would be invaded by the endangered species (Raymond, 2018).

President Trump administration made changes in on ESA that have weakened further the protection of the endangered species (Raymond, 2018). In my opinion, the government should strengthen the ESA given that the 1% success rate. Instead, should the government should invest more resources to halt the extinction of the species.

The US National Environmental Policy Act

The National Environmental Policy Act is an environmental law that promoted environmental conservation. The birth of NEPA was initiated by Lynton Caldwell, who published the "Administrative possibilities for Environment" paper which provided the natural resources policy. He drafted NEPA in 1969, and it was signed into law by President Richard Nixon. The Act calls for collective responsibility among citizens and those in power to preserve the environment. The federal agencies must prepare environmental assessments and the environmental impact statement that state the possible environmental impacts of the federal agency actions. The citizens have the responsibility of protecting the environment and act as trustees for future generations (Van, 2008).

The Success of NEPA

NEPA ensures that all constructions have considered environmental safety measures before they are implemented. Therefore, the Act mitigates the community and the environment from harmful effects that when projects are initiated. Some of the projects that have undergone environmental review are Everglades Parkway and Charlotte Blue Line Light rail (Degood, 2018,).

Critics against NEPA

The major critics against the NEPA are the time taken during the environmental reviews. The reviews are lengthy, and as a result, they cause delays in projects. One of the latest delays is president Trump's infrastructure initiative. The president has suggested that there is a need for changes in the process used by federal agencies to conduct NEPA reviews (McCabe, 2018).

It is the human responsibility to take care of the environment. Our future would be at the state if we ignore preserving the environment. Despite that NEPA reviews may cause delays to projects, reclaiming the environmental devastation would more costly and beyond repair. Therefore, environmental conservation should priority before initiating any project.


Degood, K. (2018,). The Benefits of NEPA: How Environmental Review Empowers Communities and Produces Better Projects. Retrieved from

McCabe, J. (2018). Trump's proposal to weaken project reviews threatens the 'Magna Carta of environmental law'. Retrieved from

Raymond, G. (2018). Here's Why the Endangered Species Act Was Created in the First Place. Retrieved from

Van, D. F. (2008). Conservation biology: Foundations, concepts, applications. United States: Springer.

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