For Immediate Release
Miyoko Sakashita, (415) 658-5308 or email@example.com
White House’s New National Ocean Policy a Welcome Sign, But Lacks Assurances to Protect Our Oceans
SAN FRANCISCO - Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director at the
Center for Biological
Diversity, issued the following statement today in response to the Obama
Recommendations of the Ocean Policy Task Force, which
establish a "National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts,
Lakes" and create a new governing body for oceans called the National
are in urgent need of a coordinated approach for their conservation and
management, and this new national policy is a step in the right
oceans face numerous threats, from overfishing and pollution to climate
and acidification. The policy announced today acknowledges that our
needs to initiate a comprehensive program to ensure healthy and
oceans and coasts for generations to come.
administration's proposal creates a governance structure for the
the oceans and sets out a program for marine spatial planning - which,
zoning on land, would designate certain areas for diverse uses such as
fishing, shipping and protection. But the proposal lacks guarantees for
conservation and biodiversity protection. And the overwhelming need for
prevention of climate change and ocean acidification is also overlooked
policy. Instead the Obama administration focuses on adapting to these
while completely ignoring what we need to do to avoid allowing them to
into potentially devastating environmental transformation.
"In light of
the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of
Mexico, it is painfully clear that we need to exercise precaution
when it comes to exploiting the ocean's resources. Inexcusable gaps in
government oversight of the oil industry allowed drilling plans to evade
environmental review and set the course for what has become this
environmental disaster. It's critical that the new national policy and
Ocean Council provide safeguards that protect marine ecosystems and
announced today is a good and necessary step toward coordinated planning
conservation, but we have yet to see if it will translate into good
We need continued public participation to secure better assurances that
decisions under this policy are based on sound science and
are made with
conservation and restoration as a primary goal and the precautionary
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.
At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature - to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.