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The protection of endangered or threatened species and their habitat is of the utmost importance to Congress, and as such, actions that threaten their survival are subject to regulations and permit requirements. Federal agencies are prohibited from engaging in activities, including funding and permitting activities, that will jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or threatened species or destroy critical habitat.Private persons are prohibited from “taking” endangered or threatened species without an incidental take permit. Taking an endangered species has been interpreted to include destroying its habitat. The Fish and Wildlife Service and State agencies - such as Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality - share the responsibility for listing endangered or threatened species, designating critical habitat, and issuing permits. There are opportunities for public involvement through petitioning for the listing of a species as endangered or threatened, to commenting on listing, permitting, recovery plans, and enforcement actions of the agency in charge.
Various documents presented at the first conference on Legal Tools to Protect Coastal Environments Workshop on June 18-20, 2008 at Northwestern Michigan Collegenulls Great Lakes Water Studies Institute, Traverse City, Michigan