SpaceX's Harm to Wildlife in Texas Set to Continue, Due to FAA Decision

Endangered birds are already declining near SpaceX development in the ecologically important Boca Chica region of Texas
Wilson's Plover with debris from SpaceX operations in Boca Chica, Texas. Image credit: Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program (CBBEP)

Yesterday, April 14, the FAA took the final step necessary to enable SpaceX to launch its Starship Super Heavy rocket, announcing in its Written Reevaluation that "the decision to issue a vehicle operator license for Starship/Super Heavy operations at the Boca Chica Launch Site does not require the preparation of a new or supplemental EA or EIS." According to news reports, it's expected that SpaceX will proceed with a launch as soon as Monday, April 17.

American Bird Conservancy (ABC) continues to be deeply concerned about the facility's impacts on wildlife habitat and the species that rely on it, including species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) such as the federally Threatened Piping Plover and Red Knot, and the Endangered Northern Aplomado Falcon

“Space X operations continue to damage important coastal bird habitats at Boca Chica in south Texas,” said Mike Parr, President of American Bird Conservancy. “We believe that Cape Canaveral offers a much lower environmental impact option, and is underutilized with less than one launch per month currently despite having six active launch pads and more pads that could be made available.”

Read more in our June 2022 press release.


American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.orgFacebookInstagram, and X/Twitter (@ABCbirds).

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Jordan Rutter
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