Saving Fish, Plants & Wildlife
Since the Endangered Species Act of 1973, plants, wildlife, and fish have been protected under federal law. The purpose of the law was to prevent species from becoming extinct due to economic growth and development. In Orangeburg, South Carolina there are workers at the Orangeburg National Fish Hatchery to ensure this law is withheld and working towards keeping threatened or endangered plants, wildlife, and fish from becoming extinct.
Jarrett Hill is an Orangeburg native who in May of 2006 graduated from South Carolina State University with a degree in chemistry and biology. Shortly after receiving his degree, Mr. Hill began his career working for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service at the Orangeburg National Fish Hatchery. Today, Mr. Hill is a fish biologist who loves his job.
Jarrett Hill said, “I work with the State of South Carolina, other federal agencies, and private partners. The restoration, recovery management plan and propagation programs consist of, American Shad, Striped Bass, Redbreast Sunfish, Lake Sturgeon, and Carolina Heelsplitter Mussels. I develop and culture techniques for these species. I enhance and restore fish habitat in freshwater systems.”
There are a lot of benefits to saving threatened or endangered species, plants, and wildlife. Forests filter the air we breathe, 90 plant species help make a minimum of 120 chemical compounds that assist with the making of medicine, and different animals help with the fertilization of plants because they transport pollen, for example, honeybees pollinate approximately 10 billion dollars of United States crops.
Jarrett Hill said, “I believe in our mission of working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. Some of these benefits are natural diversity, contributions to medicine, biodiversity and agriculture, environmental monitors, ecosystem services, other economic values, and intangible values.”
Across the country, national fisheries programs help the economy along with the environment. National fisheries programs provide over 68,000 jobs in the United States, 3.6 billion dollars is invested in the economy, and for every tax dollar invested the economic return is $28.
The Orangeburg National Fish Hatchery is one of the 70 national hatcheries located across the United States. The staff harvests and feeds the fish, and finally when the fish are ready, they are transported to different ponds, lakes, and rivers in the southeastern area of the United States.
The Orangeburg Fish Hatchery does open its door to the public. The 50-acre facility consists of an aquarium, ponds, bird’s observation deck, outdoor classroom for students, and picnic pavilion area.
LeKeshia Watts recently visited the Orangeburg Fish Hatchery.
LeKeshia Watts said, “It’s amazing to see how the fish are taken care of by the staff. After hearing so many horrible stories about farmed fish in China, I feel more comfortable about the fish here in the United States. I enjoyed the tour of the facilities and the information provided.”
The Orangeburg Fish Hatchery and its staff know the importance of preserving fish, plants, and wildlife. Jarrett Hill hopes that one day there will no longer be any threatened or endangered species, although he knows it is unlikely.
Jarrett Hill said, “There are plans in place to prevent extinction in different species. For example, the lake sturgeon program is a 20-year management plan, mussel propagation program is a 25-year plan.”