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Cummings should support bill protecting Arctic refuge

Rep. Elijah Cummings should support legislation to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Rep. Elijah Cummings should support legislation to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (AP)

Last month was the hottest month on record. The inhospitable heat wave in July sparked wildfires across America and the Arctic (“Arctic National Wildlife Refuge”).

Each year, wildfires ruin homes and cost precious lives to humans and animals — decimating lush landscapes from the Atlantic to the Pacific. During long journeys to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, migratory birds, such as the tundra swan which visit the Chesapeake Bay in the winter, rely on a number of stopover habitats to roost and rest.

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But rising temperatures coupled with growing CO2 emissions can worsen wildfires and accelerate changes in vegetation. Taken together, it makes the availability of stopover sites birds need scarce. Today, more than 1,000 bird species suffer from sharp population declines due to these threats.

At a time where both humans and animals are finding it harder to adapt, I urge Rep. Elijah Cummings to vote “yes” on H.R 1146 and restore protections to the Arctic Refuge.

Jaime D. Sigarán

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