Saving the Oceans: Two Major Commissions have Proposed Far-Reaching Reform of Ocean Policy. It's Time for Congress to Act (Pew Oceans Commission, U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy)
Issues in Science and Technology 2004, Fall, 21, 1
Issues in Science and Technology
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The oceans have been suffering from a variety of escalating insults for decades: excessive and destructive fishing; loss of wetlands and other valuable habitat; pollution from industries, farms, and households; invasion of troublesome species of fish and aquatic plants, and other problems. In addition, climate and atmospheric changes, which many scientists link to the combustion of fossil fuels and other human activities, are melting sea ice, changing ocean pH, stressing corals, killing plankton that are vital to the marine food web, increasing coastal erosion, and threatening to disrupt Earth's temperatures in ways that will alter weather and deplete ocean life. The pervasiveness of these problems finally began to be recognized in the 1990s, symbolized by the United Nations' declaration of 1998 as the Year of the Oceans and the holding of a National Ocean Conference that same year in Monterey, California, with the president and vice president in attendance. Yet the severity of these problems remains generally underappreciated, as reflected in the inadequate and increasingly out-of-date policy responses of the U.S. and other governments. In an attempt to chart a comprehensive set of policies addressing ocean issues for the United States, two separate ocean commissions spent a number of years considering the state and fate of the seas. The Pew Oceans Commission, an independent body convened by the Pew Charitable Trusts, issued its report in June 2003 (www.pewoceans.org). The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, established by Congress, issued its preliminary report in April 2004 (www.oceancommission.gov). Its final report was due in September 2004. Both groups agreed on one key set of messages: The oceans are in serious trouble; there is an urgent need for action; and the United States needs to significantly revise its policies related to oceans.
- 2,99 €
- Category: Engineering
- Published: 22 September 2004
- Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
- Print Length: 19 Pages
- Language: English
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