20 March 2013 Check a Box, Save a Sea Otter Posted by: Defenders of Wildlife | 1 comment | Share: Sea otters rest wrapped in kelp beds along the California coast (c) Bruce J. Lichenberger The tax deadline is looming, but there’s still time for Californians to help make a difference for threatened sea otters by donating as little as $1 to the California Sea Otter Fund on their state tax forms. Though they once numbered in the hundreds of thousands, today there are fewer than 2,800 sea otters along the California coast. And with continuous threats of being poisoned by oil spills or other pollution, these charismatic critters are struggling to make a comeback. In these tough economic times, donations that go to provide vital research dedicated to helping sea otters survive are more important than ever. That’s why Defenders worked with California lawmakers to establish the California Sea Otter Fund, giving California taxpayers the opportunity to contribute to the recovery of these animals just by entering $1 or more on line 410 of their California state tax form. Each year, the Franchise Tax Board sets a target amount that the program has to raise in order to be on the form again the following year. For the last six years Californians have dug deep and donated enough for the tax check-off to return. This year, the tax check off must raise $273,025 — so if you’re in California, as you finish filling out your tax forms this year don’t forget about our furry aquatic friends. 2012 was a better year than usual for California’s sea otters, with the spring census showing a slight increase in the total population for the first time in four years. In December, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also officially abandoned their failed no-otter zone, allowing sea otters to expand their natural range to California’s southern waters without the threat of being moved back north across an invisible line in the Pacific Ocean. Between pollution and disease, sea otters still face many serious challenges, but with your help we can work to keep them on this path to recovery. Click here to find out more on sea otter conservation and Defenders’ work with the California Tax Check-off. Not in California? You can still help save sea otters by adopting one of these marvelous marine mammals. Not only will you be sharing your appreciation for this imperiled species, but you’ll also be helping to support Defenders’ work on their behalf. Click here to visit our Wildlife Adoption Center. One Response to “Check a Box, Save a Sea Otter” Felicia Diana Pechtold March 20th, 2013 The otters need our voice! Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Helicopter gunning kills 23 wolves in Idaho; Urge Secretary Jewell to abandon gray wolf delisting proposal — Call your representative by March 14; Washington wildlife agency urged to end support for abolishing federal wolf protections; The latest on Governor Otter’s wolf control board. Two Too Many Development Projects in the Ivanpah Valley While these projects most definitely directly impact a species that has been identified as threatened and is dependent on the habitat where they would be built, Silver State South and Stateline’s approval is most troubling for a bigger reason. You see, this isn’t just an issue for the Ivanpah Valley. Developers and agencies need to be conscious of how and where they plan energy projects all across the country. They need to look at renewable energy planning with a landscape-wide lens, understanding that building in the right places and making an effort to minimize environmental impacts from the start are essential. California’s Rim Fire: Opportunities Rise from the Ashes After California’s devastating Rim Fire, will officials take the opportunity to give nature a chance to fully recover?