The Attack on America
Everything paused at CLF on the morning of September 11. Our entire staff sat around the television set, silently, and ever since, as we go about our important work, there are times during each day when our thoughts go to New York City and Washington, D.C. We mourn the lives lost, a great city devastated, a country perhaps forever changed. In the face of such tragedy, facing a future dominated by uncertainty, wondering about CLF's role in it all, we come to a single conclusion: we must follow the mandate you have given us. Protecting our environment will never be more important or more challenging than in the years to come. We intend to stay the course.
CLF's Marine Resources Project
This issue of Conservation Matters is focused on CLF's Marine Resources Project, an undertaking with roots in our first big case -- 1978's successful lawsuit to stop the federal government from oil and gas drilling on Georges Bank. Litigation had never been our specialty, and we were taking on the government and the oil industry. Some of our board members were hesitant about suing, but the suit eventually reached the Supreme Court and not a single barrel of oil has ever been extracted from Georges Bank. Our victory was a critical one for marine resources in New England; two magnificent resources were in jeopardy -- the Gulf of Maine, and Georges Bank itself.
The 1980s saw the Marine Resources Project focus on preventing sewage outflow from urban New England harbors. In 1983, outraged by constantly increasing discharges that made Boston Harbor the nation's dirtiest, CLF sued both the state of Massachusetts and the federal government. This helped bring about a court-ordered schedule for building a new sewage treatment plant, and earlier this year the Boston Harbor Project was completed. The harbor is cleaner than it's been in a century.
Elsewhere in New England in the 80s, CLF began a series of lawsuits...