Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What Should Be Done to Save Our Oceans?

Julie Packard, one of the leading ocean conservationists and executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, posted a very important recommendation at the Huffington Post last night directed to the Obama administration and Congress about what to do in order to save our oceans.

Saving the oceans is an issue that I have long talked about and advocated. I have given much media air time to the subject of purchasing sustainable seafood and using the Seafood Watch cards as guides -- this is something every business owner and consumer can do to help the issue and feel like there is meaningful contribution to solving ocean problems.

But Packard touched on other issues as well, with global warming being at the forefront.

"As fisheries collapse, freshwater ecosystems decline and ocean dead zones expand, global climate change looms as the overarching environmental challenge of this century. Those of us who recognize our connection to the ocean and to the animals that call it home have a greater responsibility than ever before to protect it. We must act, and encourage others to recognize their responsibility as stewards of the oceans."

Have you ever seen where these dead zones are? It is a horrific site -- via satellite. See these images from NASA. They are caused largely by pollution -- coming from your home in the form of fertilizer run off and from large industrial farms and factories whose fertilizers and other chemicals that run off into the rivers and then to the oceans cut off oxygen supply and make the waters places where virtually nothing can survive.

Combine the pollution issue with overfishing, mercury pollution, whole dumping grounds of plastic trash that affect not only marine life but also birds, and global warming -- it is no wonder what lies below the waters is a toxic mess ... death at the door.

Yet the majority of the public remains oblivious. If they knew that the farmed salmon in bulk was really killing off the wild species would they buy it? If they knew that their everyday, non-organic foods were killing off the ocean, would they demand organic agriculture? If they understood that within their lifetime the oceans' habitat would collapse and exist no longer if global warming continues, would they care enough to sleep on Congress' doorstep until our representatives stopped bickering over the politics of carbon reduction and actually put into action strict regulation that would absolutely reverse global warming's trend. Or at the very least, would you write your representative to express your concern?

How much do you care?

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