Bush to create three marine monuments

Palmyra
Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times A researcher counts fish near a coral reef at Palmyra Atoll, south of the Hawaiian Islands. The monument designations will ban most commercial fishing and will vastly limit recreational fishing, or fishing by indigenous people or researchers. In all of the protected areas, seafloor mining will be prohibited.

A president who had been assailed by environmentalists will have set aside more square miles of ocean for protection than any other political leader.

By Kenneth R. Weiss January 6, 2009

President Bush will create three national monuments in the Pacific Ocean today, protecting waters near U.S.-controlled islands that contain some of the world’s richest diversity of corals, fish and other sea life as well as unusual geological formations in the deepest undersea trench.

With the stroke of a pen this afternoon, Bush will have set aside more square miles of ocean for protection than any other political leader in history.

Thanks, Bush. I never thought that I would say that.

NP NowPublic

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  1. 1

    In an oped published in today’s Washington Post, Vikki Spruill put forward the key steps President-elect Barack Obama can make to begin building his blue legacy. Spruill, president and CEO of Ocean Conservancy, makes the case that at 71% of the earth’s surface and creating much of the air we breathe and food we eat, the oceans need and deserve strong protection. The proposed steps include:

    Make oceans a priority when discussing climate change. The real impacts of climate change can be seen today in the world’s oceans from bleaching coral to rising seas. When decisions are to be made on fighting climate change, the oceans must be taken into consideration.

    Focus on the Arctic. The most severe impacts of climate change can be seen in the Arctic. Melting sea ice and costal communities and villages falling into the sea are just a few examples. Oil and gas leases that have been marked for sale should be put on hold until a thorough scientific assessment of their impacts can be completed.

    Bring Order to the Ocean. From major shipping lanes to fishing waters and recreational use, the ocean has any number of uses. A comprehensive plan for sustainable ocean use will ensure that we can use the ocean while preserving it for future generations.

    Ocean Conservancy promotes healthy and diverse ocean ecosystems and opposes practices that threaten ocean and human life. Through research, education and science-based advocacy, Ocean Conservancy informs, inspires and empowers people to speak and act on behalf of the ocean. Visit us at http://www.oceanconservancy.org.

    The piece appears on page A13 of today’s Washington Post and can be viewed here:

    (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/05/AR2009010502346_pf.html)

  2. 2

    bjoyner@pmgcreative.com said,

    Good environmental policy
    is good economic policy

    Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

    Now we’ve all heard the oil industry and the coal industry and their indentured servants in the political process telling us that global climate stability is a luxury that we can’t afford. That we have to choose now between economic prosperity on the one hand and environmental protection on the other. And that is a false choice.
    In 100% of the situations, good environmental policy is identical to good economic policy – if we want to measure our economy, and this is how we ought to be measuring it, based upon how it produces jobs and the dignity of jobs over the generations, how it preserves the values of the assets of our community and how it averts the catastrophe of global warming.

    If, on the other hand, we want to do what they’ve been urging us to do on Capitol Hill which is to treat the planet as if it were a business in liquidation, convert our natural resources to cash as quickly as possible, have a few years of pollution based prosperity, we can generate an instantaneous cash flow and the illusion of a prosperous economy. But our children are going to pay for our joyride with denuded landscapes, with poor health, with huge cleanup costs and with climate chaos which is going to amplify over time and that they will never be able to pay.

    Environmental injury is deficit spending. It is a way of loading the costs of our generation’s prosperity on to the backs of our children. Climate change is upon us. Its impacts are going to be catastrophic and we are causing it. The good news is, we have the scientific and technological capacity to avert its most catastrophic impacts. We only need the political will.

    If we raise fuel economy standards in our automobiles by one mile – we generate twice the amount of oil that is in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. If we raise fuel economy standards by 7.6 miles per gallon we yield more oil than we now import from the Persian Gulf. We can eliminate 100% of Persian Gulf oil.

    Think about what that would do for our economy, for our foreign policy, for our global leadership, it would dramatically improve our balance of payments, reduce our national debt and make all of us more prosperous and more independent and spare us from wars in the Mid-East that are costing us, already, a trillion dollars and from entanglements with Mid-Eastern dictators who despise democracy and are hated by their own people.

    Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s speech at Live Earth – New York – July 7, 2007


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