The Endangered Species Act: A conservation legacy with an uncertain future


Ben Prater, Southeast Program Director for Defenders of Wildlife and Catawba College ENV grad, examines the importance of the Endangered Species Act, its benefits to wildlife and us, the uncertain future this bedrock environmental law now confronts, and how we can act to protect it.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is arguably one of the most powerful environmental laws in our nation's history. For over forty years this landmark legislation has helped to save species from the brink of extinction and protect American icons like the bald eagle, grizzly bear, grey wolf and bison. The ESA has also helped steer our country towards an ethical and moral relationship with the natural world, ensuring that the needs of other living things and the consequences of our actions are considered. 

A career conservationist, Ben Prater supervises and directs Defenders of Wildlife's efforts to protect imperiled wildlife and their habitats in the Southeast. As Southeast Program Director he is responsible for leading a field team focused on the protection of rare threatened, and endangered species through public outreach, effective advocacy and the application of science, law, and policy for the conservation of biodiversity. He provides strategic direction for Defender's programs to recover species and address the most pressing threats to their conservation. 

Ben holds a Masters of Environmental Management from Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, from Catawba where he graduated in 2002. 

Prater’s speech is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in Room 300 of the Center for the Environment. The presentation is free and open to the public but registration is required.

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