Earth Friendly Holidays – Want One?

Posted by: Chris Laughlin

A colleague recently shared .  Ponder over this:  if you never used a plastic bag again, you will be saving 22,176 plastic bags in an average life time AND if just 1 out of 5 people in our country did this we would save 1,330,560,000,000 bags over our life time. WOW – not to mention all of the wildlife we would be saving!

plasticsstorycaniamongthegarbage1

As the holidays draw near and our shopping trips become more frequent, it is the perfect time to be a great example and really focus on buying/using all things earth friendly.  Here’s some ideas:

Give the gift of healthy oceans – an Ocean Champions membership

*  Shopping for kids? 

*  Got babies? 

Other eco-friendly products as gifts, pretty cool stuff!

*  Seafood on your list?  Check this out

Farming or gardening?

Clean your house – the eco-friendly way

*  Building a home? 

*  Traveling? 

Get beautified – with eco-friendly beauty products

*  Small business owner? 

Conceptual Recycling Symbol over Earth Globe

Best wishes for a wonderful & happy holiday season!

Date Posted: November 24, 2009 @ 12:54 pm Comments Off

Posted by: Mike Dunmyer

While searching for interesting ocean news to send to the Ocean Champions followers on Twitter, I stumbled across an Op Ed published in Naples, Florida that attacked the concept of a National Ocean Policy.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, but this attack was so full of lies and distortions that I felt compelled to rebut it.  

My well crafted, articulate, shining example of truth is shown below:

Mr. Bishop’s OpEd is filled with distortions and misrepresentations. First, there is NO existing national policy on oceans. Second, the Department of Interior is not the only agency that has jurisdiction over ocean issues. There are actually 20 Federal agencies that govern oceans today (and over 140 laws). So the government already has a pretty heavy hand on matters of the ocean. The problem is that these 20 different agencies make decisions based on their own agendas, which often conflict. The situation we have today – depleted fish stocks, long, intense red tides, ocean acidification, etc. is in part due to the lack of an organized approach to managing our ocean resources.

Mr. Bishop argues against himself when he says the environmental community doesn’t appreciate that the oceans are “multi-use.” The environmental community understands this well. The problem is that our oceans are managed by a regime of “single use” organizations. The Interior Dept., specifically, the Minerals Management Service, is only concerned with citing energy facilities, not with fisheries management or tourism for example. The environmental community is arguing that the oceans are multi-use, and thus must be managed as a multi-use resource. This is what the new National Ocean Policy would do.

The proposed National Ocean Policy framework is intended to align the decisions of those 20 different agencies under the mandate of protecting, maintaining and restoring healthy oceans. Marine Spatial Planning is a tool for getting this done. The idea is not to prevent fishing or energy development, but merely to create spaces for these different ocean uses that don’t negatively impact each other and that will not damage critical ecosystems.

Finally, Mr. Bishop’s comments about NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco are way off base. Ms. Lubchenco has never said that fishing is “unsustainable.” What she (and dozens of other national and international organizations) said is that many of our critical fisheries are MANAGED in an unsustainable way. Meaning that we’re taking so many fish out that there won’t be any left. Bluefin tuna, for example, are down to just 15% of their historic levels. Fish provide the primary source of protein for 1 billion of the world’s people, and frankly, fishing is fun. The idea is to keep fish around so that we can keep harvesting them. To do this, we need to change the way we manage critical fisheries.

Finally, Mr. Bishop is also mistaken when he says that there has been no public input on the developing National Ocean Policy. There have been six public hearings held around the country. These hearings were heavily publicized and were attended by thousands. In addition, the Interagency Task Force has set up a web site where people can send their comments.

Mike Dunmyer

Executive Director, Ocean Champions

Date Posted: November 2, 2009 @ 8:25 am Comments Off