Skip to main content
Two Hawaiian monk seals on a beach

Our ocean is in trouble and marine mammals are facing new threats ranging from warming ocean temperatures to ocean trash and plastic pollution to depletion of fish stocks – just to name a few. Now is not the time to remove protections for threatened and endangered species. The Marine Mammal Center strongly opposes any revisions that weaken implementation of the Endangered Species Act. We will continue our work to ensure protections for threatened and endangered species such as the southern sea otter, Hawaiian monk seal and Guadalupe fur seal.

The Marine Mammal Center has worked extensively with species that are considered to be endangered or threatened, such as the southern sea otter, Hawaiian monk seal and Guadalupe fur seal. Threatened and endangered species are species that are at risk of extinction. These species are protected in the United States under the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973 in order to protect plant and animal life that was threatened with extinction as a "consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation." 

The Act was written to protect not only endangered species, but also "the ecosystems upon which they depend." It replaced the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969 and was amended in 1978 and 1982. 

The Endangered Species Act is administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, a federal agency that is a division of the Department of Commerce.

In addition to the U.S. Endangered Species Act, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature maintains a Red List of Threatened Species for classifying the conservation status of plant and animal species on a global scale.

Learn About Threatened and Endangered Species