Help the Oceans
How many times have you sat in your car on Chautauqua, anxiously waiting for the red light to turn green and looked up at the beautiful ocean sitting before you, momentarily melting away your stress or even letting you forget for a moment that this light is making you late? Too many to count, I’m sure.
Oceans are so incredibly beautiful and powerful—not only do they hold hundreds of thousands of incredible species under their surfaces, but oceans produce over 50% of the air we breathe … they have to be protected. We have to protect them.
If we are going to give the ocean species that we love a fighting chance, we need to give them places of refuge. That’s where Marine Protected Areas, or MPAs, come in. MPAs are regions of the ocean protected from certain harmful human activities such as offshore drilling and commercial fishing, like underwater national parks.
On January 27, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order bringing the country in line with the 30 by 30 pledge. The United States is less than one-third of the way to the 30 by 30 goal, with only 9% of its oceans protected out of the 30% protection goal.
Despite the clear evidence provided by the Environment America Research & Policy Center that there are countless benefits to a strategically planned, carefully managed MPA system, there are currently only 13 marine protected areas across the United States.
A study published in 2010 found that in just the first five years of a marine reserves’ existence, the density of targeted fish species had increased inside of the MPAs by 50% and their biomass had increased by 80%.
We have the ability to heal our oceans and support from our president to do so. Now we need decision-makers to turn our 30 by 30 vision of hope into a reality.
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