06/25/2014 – Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Sustainable Economy, and Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail launch legal action to protect endangered species from Purple Line.

Protecting the Trail is also about protecting endangered species habitat!  

Center for Biological Diversity, an influential national environmental organization dedicated to preserving endangered species, Center for Sustainable Economy, an economics think tank that raised the endangered species question in FEIS comments on the Purple Line, and Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail jointly filed on June 25 a Notice of Intent to sue federal agencies if these agencies fail to protect vulnerable, endangered species from the proposed Purple Line. 

“We need to save the Capital Crescent Trail and its forested canopy not only because of its recreational and health benefits, but also to protect some of the last remaining habitat on which the rare Hay’s spring and Kenk’s amphipods depend,” said Ajay Bhatt, President of Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail.  

“We all strongly support mass transit, but not at the expense of valuable green linear parks like the Trail, and not at the expense of endangered species,” added Bhatt.  

As the groups explain in their letter and news release: “One of the world’s experts on subterranean invertebrates, Dr. David Culver of American University, determined that at least five freshwater springs and a wetland represent suitable and potentially important habitat for the rare Hay’s Spring amphipod as well as the Kenk’s amphipod, which is a candidate for federal protection, already endangered under Maryland state law and only found in five small springs in the Rock Creek watershed.”  

The Hay’s spring and Kenk’s amphipods are tiny shrimp-like crustaceans that live in sensitive freshwater seeps. Their decline and near extinction has paralleled the decline of freshwater springs and mature forest cover in the region. Protecting the amphipods and their habitat will also benefit people by helping protect parkland and freshwater.  

Click here for the Notice of Intent. 

Click here for the news release and for more information about the amphipods of Rock Creek and Coquelin Run.