Press Release
Service Reopens Comment Period on Proposed Listing for Coal Darter
Media Contacts

Contact: Denise Rowell,, 251-656-3490

The public has more time to have a say on the proposed threatened listing and 4(d) rule on the coal darter. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the comment period for 30 days until May 8, 2024.

The reopened comment period is in response to requests for more time to provide input on the proposal. The original comment period started December 21, 2023, and ended February 20, 2024. Comments previously submitted will be considered in preparing the final rule and need not be resubmitted. 

The rule proposes to list the coal darter as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Records show the coal darter once thrived in the Black Warrior, Cahaba, and lower Coosa River systems. But in the future, the fish is at risk of disappearing from its range due to habitat loss and degradation resulting from land use changes and climate change climate change
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

Learn more about climate change

The Service is also proposing a 4(d) rule for the coal darter, which provides for the conservation of a threatened species by tailoring protections to prevent further decline and facilitate recovery. The proposed 4(d) rule would allow channel restoration projects that create natural, stable, and ecologically functioning streams, and streambank stabilization projects that reduce bank erosion, instream sedimentation, and improve the darters' habitat.  

Submit comments by May 8, 2024 online via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at, search for docket number FWS-R4-ES-2023-0220. Submit comments by U.S. mail to:  Public Comments Processing, Attn:  FWS-R4-ES-2023-0220, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB/3W, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with us on social media: Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter), Flickr, and YouTube.  

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Aquatic animals
Aquatic environment