Faculty Advisor

Heather Heenehan



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ESA’s 1,600 Feathers is a children’s story that was created in response to a Congress letter from August 2017 addressed to several members of the Committee on Natural Resources and Agriculture. This letter requested for the 1973 Endangered Species Act to be “modernized” in order to reduce the economic burdens it imposed on farmers and ranchers. They argued the existing ESA was a “clear failure” having only accomplished recovery and delisting of 42 out of the 1,652 plant and animal species under its protection. The intentions of our story were to highlight the endangered and threatened species that have successfully combat extinction since the 1970’s. We believe Congress’ narrow view of success fails to acknowledge that over the course of 4 decades 1,600 species might have become extinct, however, they are alive today due to the protections of the ESA. We chose the whooping crane as the protagonist of our story because it serves as a symbol of public awareness. It was one of the first species observed in the 20th Century that faced extinction. The successful recovery of the whooping crane, which faced population numbers as low in the teens, serves as a meaningful vessel to convey our tale of optimism and triumph brought about by the ESA.

Publication Date



Environmental Education | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Sciences


© 2017 Corinne Casey, Ellen Wise, and Kendall Ericksen


One theme of the UNE core curriculum is Environmental Awareness. As part of this theme, all students in the College of Arts and Sciences are required to take a 3-credit interdisciplinary course and ENV104: Introduction to Environmental Issues fulfills this requirement. During Fall 2017 and Spring 2018, Dr. Heather Heenehan, Visiting Assistant Lecturer in Environmental Studies, taught six sections of ENV104. For their final projects her students were encouraged to be creative messengers and spread some ENV104 Optimism to the world. The resultant projects included children’s books, artwork, board games, tri-fold boards, brochures, videos.

ESmereldA's 1600 Feathers
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