The ESA @ 50

The Endangered Species Act will be 50 on December 28, 2023. The Act was enacted by the 93rd Congress on December 27, 1973 and signed into law the following day by then President Richard Nixon.

The Act has since had a profound impact on the conservation of threatened and endangered species and their precious habitats. As a result of the protections that have been in place (and the hard work of endangered species conservationists), there are many success stories of species recovery.

During the next year leading up to 12/28/23, there will be numerous events and special programs highlighting the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act. They will be shared in this space so that you can be aware and participate if possible.

ESA@50 Activities/Programs

Events and other activities to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act include:

*Essay contest for young people.

*A series of murals to celebrate the 50th anniversary, in locations throughout the U.S.

*A fly-in to Washington, DC to educate Members of Congress about the importance and success of the Endangered Species Act.

*A series of conservation career panels for high school and college students.

*An awards reception for individuals and groups actively working to protect threatened and endangered species.

*Exhibits in museums and galleries.

Please check back to see the schedule of activities that are planned and visit the special ESA@50 site for more information.

Special Resources

Meanwhile, there are opportunities to get a “head start” on the ESA anniversary activity. The following resources will provide additional information on the ES Act.


The Endangered Species Act (A Stanford Environmental Law Society handbook) 1st Edition, by Stanford Environmental Law Society (Author) “This handbook is a comprehensive guide to the federal Endangered Species Act, the primary U.S. law aimed at protecting species of animals and plants from human threats to their survival.”

A Wild Success (produced by Endangered Species Coalition)

Endangered Species Act: Law, Policy, and Perspectives, Third Edition Paperback – January 1, 2021, by Donald Baur (Editor), Ya-Wei Li (Editor) “With chapters written by experienced ESA practitioners from a variety of professional backgrounds, this is an authoritative yet practical guide to the ESA, its most critical sections, the twists and turns of its implementation, and the cutting-edge issues facing the protection of endangered wildlife and its habitat.”

(More to follow)

Special Publications

Top 10 Report from Endangered Species Coalition: Back From the Brink: 10 SUCCESS STORIES CELEBRATING THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT AT 40

Endangered Species Act Lesson Plans

Endangered Species Act Lesson Plan for 6th – 8th Grade :

This Endangered Species Act Lesson Plan is suitable for 6th – 8th Grade. “Students spend the duration of this lesson examining the text of the Endangered Species Act. Individually, they complete a profile to determine where they stand on the bill and read excerpts.”


Will add here.


Advancing Science in the Endangered Species Act: A Toolkit for Scientists (from Union of Concerned Scientists):