Environmental Defense Fund or EDF (formerly known as Environmental Defense) is a United States based nonprofit environmental advocacy group. The group is known for its work on issues including global warming, ecosystem restoration, oceans, and human health, and advocates using sound science, economics and law to find environmental solutions that work. It is nonpartisan, and its work often advocates marketbased solutions to environmental problems.
The groups headquarters are in New York City, with offices nationwide, and scientists and policy specialists working worldwide. Regional offices more focused on local issues and policies include Austin, TX; Boulder, CO; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Sacramento, CA; Washington, D.C.; Raleigh, North Carolina; Boston, MA.
Fred Krupp has served as its president since 1984 In 2011, Krupp was named by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu to a group of experts who will make recommendations to improve the safety and environmental performance of natural gas hydraulic fracturing from shale formations.
In 1991, The Economist called EDF Americas most economically literate green campaigners.The organization was ranked first among environmental groups in a 2007 Financial Times global study of 850 businessnonprofit partnerships, and received a four starrating from Charity Navigator, the independent charity evaluator.
HistoryThe organizations founders, including Art Cooley, George Woodwell and Charles Wurster. Dennis Puleston, Victor Yannacone and Robert Smolker discovered in the mid1960s that the osprey and other large raptors were rapidly disappearing. Their research uncovered a link between the spraying of DDT to kill mosquitos and thinning egg shells of large birds. Their research was most likely based on the book the Silent Spring by Rachel Carsons about the dangers of DDT and the effects that it had on birds, published in 1962. She is revered as the scientist who inspired the Enviromental movement. She passed away in 1964. The founders of EDF successfully sought a ban on DDT in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. They then succeeded in banning DDT statewide. They then took their efforts nationally. In looking back at passage of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, top EPA officials responsible for implementing the law recall that EDF published a statistical study that supported a link between organic contaminants and cancer rates in the City of New Orleans, a study that received a tremendous amount of media attention and certainly contributed to the enactment of the law.
A 2009 op-ed piece by the Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman's Association in the trade journal Fishermen's News argues that EDF's approach to fisheries policy in the Pacific Northwest is likely to damage smaller, local operators who have an interest in protecting fisheries and limiting by-catch. Many fisherman fear that the approach gives a competitive advantage to larger, non-local operations, jeopardizing independent operators, including boats, fisheries, and ports.
EDF argues that the way we manage our fisheries needs to change if we want to protect fishermen, fish, and coastal communities. In a report suggesting economic waste in some of the world's commercial fisheries, EDF advocates an approach: catch shares, which sets a scientifically based limit on the total amount of fish that can be caught; that amount is then divided among individuals or groups, who can sell their shares or lease them to fishermen. EDF suggests that concern about consolidation or corporate ownership of fisheries is unwarranted.
EDF has been accused of funding and disseminating studies that utilize questionable science and economics in their promotion of catch share fishery management. Also, they have employed substantial political lobbying to promote fisheries policies that tend to force out smaller fishing businesses in favor of consolidated, corporate owned fleets, while denying any adverse effects these programs have on fishing families and communities.
EDF has held meetings with private investors where their West Coast vice president, David Festa, promoted the purchase of fishing rights as an investment that can yield 400% profits, and "options value" despite its claims that these rights are designed to provide financial incentives for the fishermen themselves. Multiple non-profit organizations have expressed repeated frustrations with EDF and its promotion of these management policies. Recent studies show that despite EDF's claims, catch shares do not end overfishing and typically result in no long term environmental gains.
The Environmental Defense Fund supports the Rigs-to-Reefs program in the Gulf of Mexico, in which former offshore oil production platforms are converted to permanent artificial reefs. The EDF sees the program as a way to preserve the existing reef habitat of the oil platforms.
Here is a link to their site: https://www.edf.org/
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