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NEW! Online Edition of Worth Protecting

Thanks to the FracTracker Alliance's Erica Jackson for collaborating with Karen Elias on this beautiful online edition, presented as a story map. The online version includes the photos we couldn't publish in the print edition due to space limitations. Follow this link to view the full-screen version.

Pennsylvania Is Worth Protecting

E-Postcard Campaign in February

Thanks to all of you who submitted photos for the book we delivered to Governor Shapiro and every legislator on February 28th! Better Path's own Karen Elias did an amazing job creating the book! 

We'd planned to deliver the book in January, but our legislature is in such disarray that the legislature wasn't in session.

We decided that the book would be a great centerpiece to a Valentine's-themed e-postcard idea we'd been contemplating. And so, every week in February, we're inviting you to send a postcard to your governor and legislators to tell them to show PA some love by giving it the protection it deserves.

Funding for the publication of the book was provided in part by a grant from the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.

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Week 1, February 1 - 4

Victoria Switzer

Dimock is worth protecting.

Governor Shapiro,
Valentine's Day is just around the corner. It's a good time to remember that we have a duty to protect people by protecting their environment. The people of Dimock deserve an environment free of any further drilling. Show Dimock some love by reinstating the ban on drilling!

Week 2, February 5 - 11

Laurie Barr

Monarch butterflies are worth protecting.

Dear Governor Shapiro and Legislators,
Valentine's Day is only a week away. It's a good time to remember that Pennsylvania and all of its inhabitants are worth protecting from climate change and environmental devastation. The Monarch Butterfly is an indicator species for the environment. The presence or absence of an indicator species can tell us a lot about the health of an ecosystem. Pennsylvania's Monarch population has declined by over 70 percent in the last three decades.

Monarch butterflies are suffering in Pennsylvania.  Climate change has brought extreme temperatures and violent weather events, producing a significant decline in the monarch population.  One of our most beautiful and effective pollinators, the species may be in danger of extinction unless we act.  

Week 3, February 12 - 18


Hemlocks are worth protecting.

Dear Governor Shapiro and Legislators,

Called a keystone species, the Eastern hemlock was declared Pennsylvania's state tree in 1931. It provides habitat for over 120 species, including songbirds and a variety of wildlife. It provides deep shade along our creeks, ensuring they remain habitable for trout and other cold water species. The hemlock also removes pollutants and C02 from the air and minimizes nitrate and other nutrient runoff, thereby improving both air and downstream water quality. Though hemlocks can live for 850 years and more, they are being threatened by the climate crisis. The combination of dry soil conditions (due to longer gaps between rain events later in the growing season) and warmer temperatures -- effects of climate change that are already occurring in the Commonwealth -- are having an impact on habitat availability and on the hemlocks' health. With warmer temperatures invasive species, diseases, and pests such as the hemlock woolly adelgid are able to expand their range northward. Some say that if the woolly adelgid, an invasive insect that attacks the hemlock, is allowed to continue unchecked, the trees could disappear entirely from the Northeast. They need some love.

Kirsi Jansa

Week 4, February 19 - 25

Anneke van Rossum

Pets Are Worth Protecting

Dear Governor Shapiro and Legislators,
We're writing this postcard during a February heat wave. Scenes like this one from Montgomery County may become more and more rare as droughts and scorching summer temperatures make it difficult to spend time outdoors. 
Climate change stands to hurt our pets by making them more vulnerable to separation from their families as a result of extreme weather events that displace entire communities. 
According to Warren Hess, assistant director of the American Veterinary Medical Association, "The biggest spread in heartworm disease in the United States certainly followed the 2005 national distribution of dogs due to Hurricane Katrina." 
But it's not just displacement that has caused an increased incidence of Heartworm. As the planet warms, disease-carrying insects, in some cases new strains of them, are making their way farther north causing a rise in Heartworm, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Lyme disease.
Our pets are family. Show them some love. 

Week 5, February 26 - 28

Chris DiGiulio

Water Is Worth Protecting

Dear Governor Shapiro and Legislators,

Water is life, yet it is under siege by industrial polluters who contaminate it to the point that it must be disposed of, never to be raindrops or snowflakes again. 

Water is a finite resource. We cannot replace the water we destroy. 

Show our water some love by protecting it from climate change and industrial polluters.

And we have one more request of you. You will be receiving copies of a book the Better Path Coalition and Pennsylvania Climate Convergence Network created with the help of people from across the state. It's called Worth Protecting and includes all of the photos from the weekly e-postcards you've received and many others from all corners of the commonwealth. We ask that you look go through the book and remember that you have the power and the responsibility to protect Pennsylvania, its natural resources, and all of its species.

As our water is destroyed and as climate change ravages everything that is worth protecting, there are no do-overs. 

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