Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Defense Fund
Founded 1967
Focus Environmentalism
Area served
United States, Latin America, Caribbean, Asia, international
Method Science, economic incentives, partnerships, nonpartisan policy
Membership (2016)
Over 1,500,000[1]
Revenue (2015)
$146million USD (2013)[2]
Staff (2016)
Slogan "Finding the ways that work"
Website edf.org

Environmental Defense Fund or EDF (formerly known as Environmental Defense) is a United Statesbased nonprofit environmental advocacy group. The group is known for its work on issues including global warming, ecosystem restoration, oceans, and human health, and advocates using sound science, economics and law to find environmental solutions that work. It is nonpartisan, and its work often advocates market-based solutions to environmental problems.

The group's headquarters are in New York City, with offices nationwide, and scientists and policy specialists working worldwide. Regional offices more focused on local issues and policies include Austin, TX; Boulder, CO; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Sacramento, CA; Washington, D.C.; Raleigh, North Carolina; Boston, MA.

Fred Krupp has served as its president since 1984.[4] In 2011, Krupp was named by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu to a group of experts who will make recommendations to improve the safety and environmental performance of natural gas hydraulic fracturing from shale formations.[5]

In 1991, The Economist called EDF "America's most economically literate green campaigners."[6] The organization was ranked first among environmental groups in a 2007 Financial Times global study of 850 business-nonprofit partnerships,[7] and received a four star-rating from Charity Navigator, the independent charity evaluator.[8]


The organization's founders, including Art Cooley,[9] George Woodwell and Charles Wurster,[10][11] Dennis Puleston, Victor Yannacone and Robert Smolker discovered in the mid-1960s that the osprey and other large raptors were rapidly disappearing. Their research uncovered a link between the spraying of DDT to kill mosquitos and thinning egg shells of large birds. Their research was most likely based on the book the Silent Spring by Rachel Carson about the dangers of DDT and the effects that it had on birds, published in 1962. She is noted as the scientist who inspired the environmental movement. She passed away in 1964. The founders of EDF successfully sought a ban on DDT in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. They then succeeded in banning DDT statewide. They then took their efforts nationally.[12][13][14]

In looking back at passage of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, top EPA officials responsible for implementing the law recall that EDF published a statistical study that supported a link between organic contaminants and cancer rates in the City of New Orleans, a study that received a tremendous amount of media attention and certainly contributed to the enactment of the law. [15]

Areas of work

Key accomplishments

Key accomplishments of Environmental Defense Fund include:


EDF has drawn criticism for its ties to large corporations including McDonald's, FedEx, Walmart,[113] and the Texas energy company TXU, with which the organization has negotiated to reduce emissions and develop more environmentally friendly business practices. EDF's philosophy is that it is willing to talk with big business and try new approaches in order to get environmental results.[114][115]

Fisheries conservation

A 2009 op-ed piece by the Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman's Association in the trade journal Fishermen's News argues that EDF's approach to fisheries policy in the Pacific Northwest is likely to damage smaller, local operators who have an interest in protecting fisheries and limiting by-catch. Many fisherman fear that the approach gives a competitive advantage to larger, non-local operations, jeopardizing independent operators, including boats, fisheries, and ports.[116]

EDF argues that the way we manage our fisheries needs to change if we want to protect fishermen, fish, and coastal communities. In a report suggesting economic waste in some of the world's commercial fisheries,[117]EDF advocates an approach:[84] catch shares, which sets a scientifically based limit on the total amount of fish that can be caught; that amount is then divided among individuals or groups, who can sell their shares or lease them to fishermen. EDF suggests that concern about consolidation or corporate ownership of fisheries is unwarranted.[85]

EDF has been accused of funding and disseminating studies [118] that utilize questionable science and economics [119] in their promotion of catch share fishery management. Also, they have employed substantial political lobbying [120][121] to promote fisheries policies that tend to force out smaller fishing businesses in favor of consolidated, corporate owned fleets,[122] while denying any adverse effects these programs have on fishing families and communities.[123]

EDF has held meetings with private investors [124] where their West Coast vice president, David Festa, promoted the purchase of fishing rights as an investment that can yield 400% profits, and "options value" despite its claims[123] that these rights are designed to provide financial incentives for the fishermen themselves. Multiple non-profit organizations have expressed repeated frustrations [125][126][127] with EDF and its promotion of these management policies. Recent studies [128][129][130] show that despite EDF's claims, catch shares do not end overfishing and typically result in no long term environmental gains.

The Environmental Defense Fund supports the Rigs-to-Reefs program in the Gulf of Mexico, in which former offshore oil production platforms are converted to permanent artificial reefs. The EDF sees the program as a way to preserve the existing reef habitat of the oil platforms.[131]

Natural gas

EDF sees natural gas as a way to quickly replace coal, with the idea that gas in time will be replaced by renewable energy.[132] The organization presses for stricter environmental controls on gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing, without banning them.[133] In November 2013, after negotiations with the oil industry, EDF representatives joined spokesmen for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Noble Energy, and Encana, to endorse Colorado governor John Hickenlooper's proposed tighter regulation of emissions of volatile organic compounds by oil and gas production.[134] EDF has funded studies jointly with the petroleum industry on the environmental effects of natural gas production. The policy has been criticized by some environmentalists.[135] EDF counsel and blogger Mark Brownstein answered:

"Demand for natural gas is not going away, and neither is hydraulic fracturing. We must be clear-eyed about this, and fight to protect public health and the environment from unacceptable impacts. We must also work hard to put policies in place that ensure that natural gas serves as an enabler of renewable power generation, not an impediment to it. We fear that those who oppose all natural gas production everywhere are, in effect, making it harder for the U.S. economy to wean itself from dirty coal."[136]

See also


  1. About EDF
  2. EDF Finances
  3. EDF People
  4. Hoover's Company Records – Basic and In-depth Records: Hoover ID: 130102. April 10, 2007
  5. "Secretary Chu Tasks Environmental, Industry and State Leaders to Recommend Best Practices for Safe, Responsible Development of America's Onshore Natural Gas Resources," Energy.gov, May 5, 2011. http://energy.gov/articles/secretary-chu-tasks-environmental-industry-and-state-leaders-recommend-best-practices-safe
  6. "Cool it: Cleaning up the old act," The Economist, August 31, 1991. http://www.edf.org/content/cool-it
  7. "Trend to partnerships is positive," Financial Times, July 5, 2007, p. 14.
  8. Charity Navigator
  9. "Memories and More: Saving a species," The New York Times, December 30. 2001.
  10. "Fostering Clean Air through Environmental Law," The New York Times, May 14, 1995
  11. "Environmental Defense Fund member Dr. York Times, Page 11, Column 1, January 14, 1969
  12. "Wood, Field and Stream: Environmental Defense Fund Warns Pollution From Pesticides Still Exists," The New York Times, February 3, 1970 II
  13. 1 2 "DDT Ban Takes Effect" [EPA press release - December 31, 1972], site accessed 4/12/2007 http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/ddt/01.htm
  14. "DDT Regulatory History: A Brief Survey (to 1975)" [EPA report, July 1975], site accessed 4/12/2007 http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/ddt/02.htm
  15. EPA Alumni Association: Senior EPA officials discuss early implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, Video, Transcript (see p4).
  16. EDF's Climate Programs
  17. EDF's Oceans Programs
  18. EDF's Oceans work by region
  19. EDF's Health Programs
  20. EDF's Ecosystems Programs
  21. EDF's Approach: Partnerships
  22. EDF's Corporate Donations Policy
  23. "Walton Family Foundation".
  24. EDF's Approach: Markets
  25. EDF's Approach: Markets: Acid Rain
  26. 1 2 "A Debate: Are Enough Data in Hand to Act Against Acid Rain?", Week in Review Desk, The New York Times, November 14, 1982
  27. 1 2 "An Acid Test for Acid Rain," Editorial Desk, The New York Times, December 26, 1984
  28. 1 2 "Consensus Is Seen To Curb Acid Rain," by Philip Sabecoff, The New York Times, October 18, 1985
  29. 1 2 "Acid Rain Is Called Peril for Sea Life on Atlantic Coast," by Philip Sabecoff, The New York Times, April 25, 1988
  30. 1 2 "The Nation: An Emergence of Political Will on Acid Rain," by Philip Sabecoff, The New York Times, February 19, 1989
  31. 1 2 "Economic Watch: Sale of Air Pollution Permits Is Part of Bush Acid-Rain Plan," by Peter Passell, The New York Times, May 17, 1989
  32. 1 2 "Under Bush's Plan, Clean Air Becomes Profitable," by Peter Passell, Newsday, November 29, 1989
  33. 1 2 "EPA Administrator Reilly Hails Signing of New Clean Air Act" [EPA press release – November 15, 1990], site accessed 4/16/2007 http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/caa90/02.htm
  34. 1 2 "Clean Air Act Ahead of Schedule: Market Forces Quicken Emissions Reductions," by Casey Bukro, Chicago Tribune, March 27, 1996
  35. 1 2 "The Environment: Ignore all doomsayers on EPA laws," by Gregg Easterbrook, Los Angeles Times, December 1, 1996
  36. 1 2 "Clean Air Sale," by Boyce Rensberger, The Washington Post, August 9, 1999
  37. List of Marine Mammal Species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), web site accessed 4/12/2007: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/esa/mammals.htm
  38. "S. McVay, chmn Com on Whales, Environmental Defense Fund, hails NY Times for backing efforts to conserve whales…", The New York Times, Page 34, Column 5 – September 1, 1970
  39. "Environmental Defense Fund analysis of Mississippi river drinking water says…", The New York Times, Page 29, Column 1, by Harold M. Schmeck, Jr. – November 8, 1974
  40. "EPA orders immediate nationwide study of chem contaminants in drinking water…", The New York Times, Page 32, Column 2, by Harold M. Schmeck, Jr. – November 9, 1974
  41. "EPA and Environmental Defense Fund studies revealing carcinogenic chem in drinking water… ", The New York Times, Page 32, Column 2, by Harold M. Schmeck, Jr. – November 17, 1974
  42. "HR passes Safe Drinking Water Act authorizing EPA to set minimum Fed standards for drinking water … ", The New York Times, Page 21, Column 1, by Richard D. Lyons. – November 20, 1974
  43. "Protecting America's Drinking Water: Our Responsibilities Under the Safe Drinking Water Act" by James L. Agee, EPA Journal, March 1975 [EPA web site: History section], web site accessed 4/13/2007 http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/sdwa/07.htm
  44. Safe Drinking Water Act: Basic Information [EPA web site], site accessed 4/13/2007 http://www.epa.gov/safewater/sdwa/basicinformation.html
  45. "Deadline set for Sept. 30 on airborne Lead Rules," by Bill Richards, The Washington Post, August 10, 1978
  46. "30 More Regulations Targeted for Review," by Felicity Barringer, The Washington Post, August 13, 1981
  47. "U.S. Closed Unit that Cited Health Effect of Lead in Gas" by Philip Shabecoff, The New York Times, July 26, 1982
  48. "Amid Budget Slashes, Priority Shifts; Perils of Lead Are Still Weighing Heavily," by Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post, July 29, 1982
  49. "Rules to Reduce the Lead in Gas Reported Ready," by Philip Shabecoff, The New York Times, August 1, 1982
  50. "EPA Scraps Plan To Ease Standards On Lead in Gasoline," by Sandra Sugawara, The Washington Post, August 2, 1982
  51. "Environmental Groups Fight Leaded Gas Plan," The New York Times, August 19, 1982
  52. "Environmentalists Laud New Rules on Lead in Gas," by William G. Blair, The New York Times, October 29, 1982
  53. "EPA Orders 90% of Lead Cut From Gasoline by Jan. 1," by Zack Nauth, The Los Angeles Times, March 5, 1985
  54. "EPA Sets New Limits on Lead in Gasoline" [EPA press release, March 4, 1985], web site accessed 4/13/2007 http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/lead/01.htm
  55. "EPA Takes Final Step in Phaseout of Leaded Gasoline" [EPA press release – January 29, 1996], site accessed 4/16/2007 http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/lead/02.htm
  56. "The Nation: Environmentalists Try To Move the Markets," by John Holusha, The New York Times, August 22, 1993
  57. "Business Forum: Saving the Earth's Ozone Layer; Industry Needs Incentives Not To Pollute" by Daniel J. Dudek, The New York Times, November 16, 1986
  58. "The Hole at the Bottom of the World," Editorial Desk, The New York Times, September 19, 1987
  59. "Report on Acid Rain Finds Good News and Bad News," by Carol Kaesuk Yoon, The New York Times, October 7, 1999
  60. "Hog Wild for Pollution Trading: Why environmental markets are becoming a very big deal," by Cait Murphy, Fortune, September 2, 2002
  61. "Are Storm Clouds Massing? These traders need to know," by Vikas Bajaj, The New York Times, May 17, 2006
  62. "Packaging and Public Image: McDonald's Fills a Big Order," New York Times, November 2, 1990.
  63. McDonald's: The first corporate partnership
  64. "Deal Gives Woodpeckers Golf Habitat," by Tom Kenworthy, The Washington Post, March 2, 1995.
  65. "Giving animals 'safe harbor,' op-ed by Robert Bonnie, economist at Environmental Defense Fund, The Washington Times, October 15, 1996.
  66. Big firms Join to Share Greenhouse-Gas Cuts," by Peter Behr, Washington Post, October 18, 2000.
  67. "7 Companies Agree to Cut Gas Emissions," by Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times, October 18, 2000
  68. EDF: Cleaning up dirty diesel exhaust
  69. "Dam Dispute Losses a Flood of Emotions," by John M. Glionna, The Los Angeles Times, August 11, 2007.
  70. "Groups to Oppose $1.6B San Francisco Water Deal Unless Alternatives Studies," by Rochelle Williams, The Bong Buyer, August 19, 2007.
  71. "An Effort to Undo an Old Reservoir," by Dean E. Murphy, The New York Times, October 15, 2002. "Bring Back Hetch Hetchy?" The New York Times, The New York Times, October 19, 2002.
  72. "S.F. to Fight Reservoir Rent Hike: U.S. wants $8 million a year for the Hetch Hetchy facility in Yosemite National Park, up from the $30,000 the city has paid for decades," by Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times, February 4, 2004.
  73. "National Briefing West: California: A Call to Drain Yosemite Reservoir," by Dean E. Murphy, The New York Times, September 28, 2004.
  74. "Removal of Yosemite Dam to Be Studied; A state agency will consider restoration of the Hetch Hetchy Valley," by Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times, November 12, 2004.
  75. "Parting the waters of what once was: Revisiting the ceaseless dream of the Hetch Hetchy Valley moves us closer to the lost sanctuaries of the world," by Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times, April 5, 2005.
  76. "Is this Dam Worth a Dam? There's a movement afoot to pull down old or ecologically unsound dams, starting with this one," by J. Madeleine Nash, Time magazine, July 18, 2007.
  77. "Conservation campaign is growing to remove national park's dam and return valley to its natural state: Call to restore Yosemite's hidden wonders," by Dan Glaister, The Guardian (London), October 31, 2005.
  78. "Half a Hetchy study: State's review doesn't resolve debate," editorial, Sacramento Bee (California), July 20, 2006.
  79. "Hetch Hetchy plan feasible report says: But cost to restore the valley could be much higher than estimated," by Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee (California), July 20, 2006.
  80. Barringer, Felicity. "Officials Reach California Deal to Cut Emissions". New York Times. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  81. Barringer, Felicity. "California, Taking Big Gamble, Tries to Curb Greenhouse Gases". New York Times. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  82. "Report: Guaranteed fish shares may prevent overfishing," USA Today, Updated 9/18/2008.
  83. EDF: New management approach brings hope to ailing fisheries
  84. 1 2 Costello, Christopher; Steven D. Gaines; John Lynham (19 September 2008). "Can Catch Shares Prevent Fisheries Collapse?". Science. 321 (5896): 1678–1681. doi:10.1126/science.1159478. PMID 18801999.
  85. 1 2 "Sustaining America's Fisheries and Fishing Communities: An Evaluation of Incentive-Based Management" (PDF). Environmental Defense Fund.
  86. "A Coalition for Firm Limit on Emissions," by Felicity Barringer, The New York Times, January 19, 2007.
  87. "The Executive: David Yarnold," Environmental Defense Fund website, posted 2008-02-02, retrieved 2012-02-07 http://apps.edf.org/article.cfm?contentID=7656
  88. "TXU sale could cost $32 billion," by Janet Wilson, The Los Angeles Times, February 24, 2007.
  89. "Utility to Limit New Coal Plants in Big Buyout," by Felicity Barringer and Andrew Ross Sorkin, The New York Times, February 25, 2007.
  90. "TXU bidder seeing green: Buyout group promises only 3 new coal plants, is likely to cut prices," by Elizabeth Souder, Dallas Morning News, February 25, 2007.
  91. "Energy Firm Accepts $45 Billion Takeover; Buyers Made Environmental Pledge," by Steven Mufson and David Cho, The Washington Post, February 26, 2007.
  92. "Texas Pacific and KKR to drop coal plant plans if deal succeeds," by Siobhan Kennedy and Tom Bawden, The Times (London), February 26, 2007.
  93. "A $45 Billion Buyout With Many Shades of Green," by Andrew Ross Sorkin, The New York Times, February 26, 2007.
  94. "Utility sale is boon for green activists: The largest such buyout ever, of Texas' TXU giant, includes benefits for consumers too," by Janet Wilson and Peter Pae, Los Angeles Times, February 26, 2007.
  95. "Buyout group would ax coal plants," by Felicity Barringer and Andrew Ross Sorkin, The International Herald Tribune, February 26, 2007.
  96. "TXU to take buyout $45 billion deal would kill plans for 8 of 11 coal plants; price cuts also predicted," by Elizabeth Souder, the Dallas Morning News, February 26, 2007.
  97. "Environmentalists hail takeover plan for Texas utility," by John Donnelly, The Boston Globe, February 26, 2007.
  98. "$45 billion utility sale an environmental watershed," by Andrew Ross Sorkin, The International Herald Tribune, February 27, 2007.
  99. "Power failure came before TXU buyout: CEO has focused on shareholders but failed to connect with others," by Elizabeth Souder, Sudeep Reddy and Randy Lee Loftis, The Dallas Morning News, March 4, 2007.
  100. "Environmental Group Behind the TXU Deal Hires a Banker," by Andrew Ross Sorkin and Felicity Barringer, The New York Times, March 8, 2007.
  101. "The Big Deal Goes Green," by Cathy Booth Thomas, Time magazine, March 12, 2007.
  102. "At a Glance," Investment Dealers' Digest, March 12, 2007.
  103. "Hugging the Tree-Huggers: Why so many companies are suddenly linking up with eco groups. Hint: Smart business," by John Carey, with Michael Arndt, Business Week, March 12, 2007.
  104. "Marching With a Mouse," by Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times, March 16, 2007.
  105. "Climate shift: some environmental groups are sitting down with big business. But others say the fate of the planet is non-negotiable," by Daniels Brook, The Boston Globe, March 18, 2007.
  106. The Eyes of Texas Are Still on TXU," by Heather Green, Business Week, March 19, 2007.
  107. EDF: Climate Corps saving cash and Earth
  108. "Climate Corps interns help businesses save energy," San Francisco Chronicle, March 16, 2011
  110. "New York City Finances Switch to Cleaner Heating Oils," The New York Times "Green" blog, June 13, 2012
  111. NYC Clean Heat
  112. "Voters Reject 2-Sided Assault on Climate Law," The New York Times, November 3, 2010
  113. "CorpWatch: Greenwashing Walmart".
  114. "The Nation: For the Environment, Compassion Fatigue," by Keith Schneider, The New York Times, November 6, 1994
  115. "Climate shift: some environmental groups are sitting down with big business. But others say the fate of the planet is non-negotiable," by Daniels Brook, The Boston Globe, March 18, 2007
  116. AND THE BIG FOOL SAID "MARCH ON" Groundfish Ratz and the Fate of Coastal Fishing Communities http://www.pcffa.org/fn-aug09.htm
  117. "Fisheries waste costs billions". BBC News. 8 October 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  118. "System turns US fishing rights into commodity, squeezes small fishermen".
  119. Bromley, Daniel (2009). "ABDICATING RESPONSIBILITY: THE DECEITS OF FISHERIES POLICY". Fisheries. 34 (4).
  120. "Environmental Defense Fund". 2012. D000033473.
  121. "U.S. Senate KOs bid to stop catch shares". Gloucester Times.
  122. Brewer, J. F. (2011). "J. F. Brewer, Paper Fish and Policy Conflict: Catch Shares and Ecosystem-Based". Ecology and Society. 16 (1).
  123. 1 2 Grimm, Dietmar (2011). "Assessing catch shares' effects evidence from Federal United States".
  124. "Milken Institute Global Conference" (PDF).
  125. "A cautionary Tale".
  126. "Distorting Catch Share Criticism".
  127. "Catch Shares Ideology is a One-Way Street in the Wrong Direction".
  128. Essington, Timothy (2012). "Catch shares, fisheries, and ecological stewardship: a comparative analysis of resource responses to a rights-based policy instrument". Seattle School of Aquatic Fisheries Science.
  129. Essington, T. E. (2012). "Catch Shares Improve Consistency, not Health, of Fisheries". Lenfest Ocean Program.
  130. "Catch Shares: A Useful Tool with Limits" (PDF).
  131. Jack Sterne, "EDF stands with fishermen in calling for suspension of rig removal policy", EDF Oceans, 24 Apr. 2012.
  132. EDF, Why natural gas is important, accessed 4 Oct. 2013.
  133. EDF, Natural gas policy, accessed 4 Oct. 2013.
  134. Cathy Proctor, "Colorado unveils proposed oil and gas air quality rules" (Video), Denver Business Journal, 18 Nov. 2013.
  135. Larry Bernstein, Environmental Defense Fund scolded by other green organizations on 'fracking', Washington Post, 22 May 2013.
  136. Mark Brownstein, Why EDF is working on natural gas, 10 Sept. 2012

Further reading

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/4/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.