Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Oceans and Obama

President Obama came out with some very quotable quotes and strong words last week regarding the ocean environment and its increasingly fragile health. Some of my colleagues immediately and publicly bent over backwards with excitement that Obama mentioned oceans and our need to protect them. I remain skeptical as to what, exactly, is going to be done by his administration for ocean magazine has an interesting article about this latest Obama media coup. I quote the first 3 paragraphs below, and you can read the entire article here.

"President Barack Obama has said all the right things about safeguarding the oceans. While campaigning, he promised to improve their management and research. Last Friday, he gave an Ocean Policy Task Force 90 days to develop a comprehensive oceans policy.

"Of course, it was just four-and-a-half years ago that the bipartisan Commission on Ocean Policy presented its sweeping recommendations to President Bush, who responded by creating a Cabinet-level Committee on Ocean Policy. The committee is now defunct.

"Whether Obama’s promises will amount to more than another round of bureaucratic chair shuffling remains to be seen. If so, it will be tragic. For years scientists have warned the oceans are in crisis, teetering on the edge of breakdown. Overfishing has all but eliminated many once-common species, disrupting aquatic ecosystems and unleashing plagues of jellyfish..."

Read the rest of this article here at