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Our natural world is under assault

Our natural world is under assault from many directions, including plastics, urban sprawl, and climate change.

Fortunately, the beauty of a free press in a democracy is that the press shines a light on these issues, and legislators have the opportunity to address them.

It is essential that Congress tackle these emerging challenges, and here are some of the ways I'm fighting to do so:

FIRST: Let's start with plastics. They are damaging the environment as lumps of plastic that harm wildlife to microplastics and nanoplastics polluting our air, land, and water.

Last year I held the Senate's first ever series of hearings on plastic pollution. I filed the "Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act" with a comprehensive plan to tackle plastic pollution. And I put directions into the Department of Interior funding bill to eliminate plastic bottles in national parks.

SECOND: I made sure the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided funding to support cleanup at abandoned mines like the Formosa Mine Superfund site near Riddle, OR.

Abandoned mines have been poisoning our waters for years, and they won't get cleaned up without funding to do so.

THIRD: I introduced a resolution in the Senate to establish a National Biodiversity Strategy.

We need smart, well-coordinated efforts across all levels of government, business, and community leadership to preserve biodiversity for future generations.

Without species biodiversity, life on our planet cannot function properly.

FOURTH: I directed funding to programs that help save endangered species. One is a breeding program for the magnificent California condors (9-ft wingspans!) operated by the Oregon Zoo. Another is a program to save the Western monarchs, which have seen a 95% population decline over 25 years.

FIFTH: I pressed for the completion of a management plan for Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, which I successfully doubled in size in 2017. The CSNM is a biodiversity paradise with over 100 species of butterflies!

SIXTH: I led several battles in the effort to replace fossil energy with renewable energy — but that merits an additional email!

I'll keep fighting for Mother Earth, both for the health and enjoyment of this generation and the generations to come.

I need you to help me keep pushing Congress to make addressing the conservation of our natural spaces a national priority.

Together, we can get it done and protect our environment and natural world that makes our country a better, more beautiful place.



Posted on February 22, 2024.

Born in the small town of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, Jeff Merkley has never lost touch with his working class roots.

As a U.S. Senator, he works every day to create opportunity for working families, stop the corruption of our democracy, and tackle the climate crisis.

A workhorse and a progressive champion, Jeff Merkley is leading a movement to get our country back on track.

Meet Jeff

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