Save The Frogs wins 8-0 vote at the State Capitol as new frog legislation moves forward
Dear SAVE THE FROGS! Supporter,
SAVE THE FROGS! has been working with Assemblymember Manuel Pérez and the Sea View Elementary School in Salton City, CA to create legislation naming the California Red-Legged Frog as California's official state amphibian. On Tuesday, two Sea View students and I testified at the State Capitol in Sacramento, and the frogs emerged victorious: California's Water, Parks and Widlife Committee voted 8-0 in favor of the legislation! It is not law yet, but it is on the way. The bill (AB2364) has been forwarded on to the state's Appropriations Committee and we expect the bill to be voted into law this summer! Learn more and follow the bill's progress at our new webpage:
Why this legislation is important
The California Red-Legged Frog (Rana draytonii) has been listed on the federal Endangered Species list since 1996. Having the frog as our official state amphibian will help to protect the frog by educating politicians about its plight; placing the frog in front of many students and teachers when they study the state's official plants and wildlife; and making it difficult for those whose activities intentionally harm the red-legged frogs (would you plow over the state amphibian's habitat?).
"With such a rich role in California's cultural and literary history, the time has come to declare the California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) as the official state amphibian of California."
-- Assemblymember Manuel Pérez
How this legislation came to be:
beginning in September 2013
In September 2013, Virginia Haddad, a SAVE THE FROGS! supporter and teacher at Sea View Elementary School in Salton City, California, contacted me about her classes' willingness to make the California Red-Legged Frog California's official state amphibian. In October 2013, Sea View Elementary School students sent a letter to Assemblymember Manuel Pérez asking him to create legislation to make the California Red-Legged Frog the state's official amphibian.
January 13th, 2014
SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger and SAVE THE FROGS! Ecologist Michael Starkey gave presentations on amphibian conservation to all 500 students at Sea View Elementary School. A representative from Assemblymember Pérez's office attended. After the presentations, a conference call was held between the students, the Assemblymember's office, SAVE THE FROGS! and the Sea View teachers and principal to discuss the path forward towards creating legislation.
"Thank you again for coming to my school, Kerry. You saw how the kids loved it. Two boys came up to me yesterday and told me they want to be frog scientists."
-- Virginia Haddad, Sea View Elementary School, Salton City, California
February 21st, 2014
On February 21st, 2014, Assemblymember Manuel Pérez introduced a bill (AB2364) to make the California Red-Legged Frog the state's official amphibian. On the same day, he spoke to the students of Sea View Elementary School about How A Bill Becomes A Law, to discuss the process the legislation will take to make the California Red-Legged Frog California's official state amphibian. Here is the official bill Fact Sheet.
"When the Sea View students contacted me with their idea, they impressed me with their research and made a strong case for the red-legged frog, based on its significance to California history, culture, and ecology," said Pérez. "I applaud their enthusiasm and see this as a great opportunity to put learning into action. I am excited to have them participate in the legislative process."
-- Assemblymember Manuel Pérez
"Thank you everyone for everything you've done to make today such a wonderful day for our students and community. Each of your efforts helped make today one that will be long remembered for the rest of our lives."
-- Sea View Elementary Principal Dr. Steele
April 8th, 2014
On April 8th, 2014 the bill (AB2364) went to its first vote at the State Capitol in Sacramento. The Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee voted 8-0 in favor of the frog legislation! The bill now moves on to the state's Appropriations Committee. Stay tuned for more updates as this bill hopefully becomes law by Summer 2014!
The committee heard testimony from SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger and Sea View students Freedom Payne and Samantha Lambarena. Providing public comments on behalf of the frogs were Sea View teacher Virginia Haddad; Sea View Principal Dr. Timothy Steele; Coachella Unified School District's Superintendent Dr. Darryl Adams and Samantha and Freedom's parents. Pérez waived his committee presentation to enable the students to have more time to make their statements.
"Samantha and Freedom did an excellent job this morning," said Pérez. "They prepared a strong statement which they each took turns reading. They made a good case for the bill, explaining the frog's significance to California history, culture, and ecology. It's a proud day for all of us."
Samantha, Freedom, and Assemblymember Manuel Pérez:
Photos above and below courtesy Assembly Democratic Caucus.
Freedom, and Assemblymember Manuel Pérez:
Assemblymember Manuel Pérez, Dr. Kerry Kriger, and the students, parents and teachers from Sea View Elementary and Coachella Unified School District:
Red-Legged Frog Bill featured in the Washington Post
This legislation has made a lot of news, spreading awareness for endangered amphibians!
- Washington Post, April 7th, 2014
- Desert Sun News, April 8, 2014
- Imperial Valley News, April 8th, 2014
The Sacramento Bee, April 7th, 2014:
Upcoming Events at the SAVE THE FROGS! Education Center
I will be sending full event details for all these amazing events very soon. For now, please mark your calendar!
- April 15th, 6pm: Volunteer Session (all people interested in volunteering should join us)
- April 22nd, 7pm: Earth Day Birthday Belize Bash
- April 25th, 5pm-7pm: Live Frog Night
- April 26th, 3pm-til late: Save The Frogs Day (we will have a late morning frog walk too)
- May 6th, 6pm: Volunteer Session (all people interested in volunteering should join us)
- May 9th, 730pm: Movie Night (the classic Frogs will be showing)
- May 16th, 5pm: Endangered Species Day
- May 20th, 6pm: Global Day of Palm Oil Awareness
- May 28th, 5pm: Frog Art Workshop for Kids
- June 21st, 3pm: Ban The Bullfrog Day
Grand Opening Celebration at the SAVE THE FROGS! Education Center, March 29th, 2014.
Thank you for helping SAVE THE FROGS!
A lot more frog news coming soon!
Dr. Kerry Kriger
SAVE THE FROGS! Founder, Executive Director & Ecologist
See you at the SAVE THE FROGS! Education Center sometime soon!