Conservation is about people. It Starts with people. It ends with people. Democratic governments cannot stop the people.
Ok. It’s Monday. It’s almost a week since Donald Trump has been named President-Elect of the United States. We’ve all had an opportunity to be shocked, surprised, scared; now it’s time to think about how we’re going to protect the Ocean, in the US and around the world for the next 4 years. Potentially 8 years. Marine Science and Conservation has never really changed in its approach. It starts with the people, it ends with the people. If people do not want to change or protect the environment or the ocean, we will not be able to do so. It is why I started Speak Up For Blue. To provide information to people about ocean issues, the challenges the oceans face, and what we need to do from individual, community, and government levels. In the US for the next 4; potentially 8 years, we may not be able to effectively change or protect the ocean, reduce climate change, and all of the other consequences that come with that, through federal regulations.
Donald Trump and his team have built their campaign based on reducing government, science, refuting climate change, and essentially taking away everything that the current administration has put in place as of now. There could be a lot taken away from a federal policy level, which is scary. We may not have marine spatial planning, we may not have a national ocean counsel, we may not have the tools that we’ve used in the past 8 years to put in monuments, to put in fishing quotas; to controls that will protect the ocean and reduce our impact. It’s scary. It’s not fun. But it’s the reality. But as I said before: conservation has always started with the people, and in democratic societies, you can always affect change with the will of the people. Politicians are in place because they have been elected, by the people, so it is up to the people; up to us to make the change we want.
The way I see it, there are two ways to really affect change in the next 4-8 years in the US and really, around the world. If you are in a democratic society you can affect change on your own. The way to do it is through grass roots marine conservation. It starts with us. We come together as a community, as a collective group, and we go enact change. We can make the change and then bring it to the state, and other respective levels. Or we can affect change within one another. Rob Moyer from the Ocean River Institute, will be on the podcast on Wednesday where he will talk about how he went to Florida and put together some resources where the people could effectively manage their yards. For example, he told people, if they want to wash their car — instead of leaving the hose on and running, fill a bucket and just use the bucket and some soap. He also advised homeowners to not fertilize during the summer months. Fertilizing during the summer months will increase the amount of fertilizer in the water, when the rain comes, and then you get slime on the coasts. He advised people on 10 ways, 10 changes they could make to affect change. Small change maybe, but when small changes are made by a great number of people, it creates a big change. It goes to show that there are so many ways, not directed by a government, that we can affect change on our oceans, our environment, our planet.
In the future, Speak Up For Blue is going to be working on highlighting Grass Roots projects that you can become part of, or that you can start to affect change within your community, and hopefully if we create a big enough movement, will affect change in the government as well. That is how conservation will always work. It doesn’t matter what administration is in power, at any level. It’s the best and most consistent way we can do conservation and affect true change. No one will stop you, or your community from picking up litter from a beach. It doesn’t look good to stop beneficial things from happening. Get together, pull your community together, like you’ve done with the Speak Up For Blue community. We will be highlighting more things that are occurring through Grass Roots movements to affect change.
Speak Up For Blue’s Grass Roots Action of the Week: http://bit.ly/refugeFlorida
The state of Florida is attempting to close down the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge near Palm Beach. The Refuge was created to stop the sugar industry dumping dirty water. The U.S. Department of Justice has enforced water quality laws and ordered sugar industries to clean up their act.
Your immediate involvement is critical to our success in preventing the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge from becoming instead a state water management property – a great loss for wildlife and for all of us.
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