Amid the ancient hills of Appalachia, two tiny crayfish are neck deep in mining pollution -- and now they need your voice to survive.
The Big Sandy and Guyandotte River crayfish are fast disappearing due to water pollution, primarily from coal mining. The Guyandotte River crayfish, a newly discovered species in West Virginia, now exists in just a single stream, making it the most endangered crayfish in North America. And the Big Sandy crayfish lives only in the mountains of West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky.
Both crayfish are sensitive to pollution -- and if you've seen the mining wreckage, you know why. Their homes are being inundated with sedimentation and heavy metals like selenium.
Protecting the clean water these crayfish need will also help the people of Appalachia where public health has long been sacrificed to dirty coal. Recent scientific studies have concluded unsurprisingly that pollution from mountaintop-removal mining is associated with risk of cancer and birth defects in humans. More than 2,000 miles of streams have been degraded by the coal industry, which employs few people and perpetuates poverty by causing permanent damage to the landscape.
April 24, 2015 Action Alert ID# 212
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