It’s not every day you get to see a 50 year anniversary of a protected area. Not many marine protected areas exist today. So it’s awesome to celebrate 50 years of Ocean Conservation in one of the most beautiful underwater sanctuaries in the USA!
The overall goal in Ocean Conservation is to protect at least 20%-30% of all the Oceans. I think we are at less the half a percent…that sucks! We aren’t even close to are global goal
Why Can’t We Protect The Oceans?
One of the major problems is that it’s a global goal! It’s difficult to tell a country to protect it’s coastal waters when your own country (mine is Canada) has one of the lowest coverages of marine protected areas in the world. On top of that, countries only have juridiction within 200 Nautical Miles from there coasts, so good luck trying to protect the “high seas” where there is no law!
It may be intimidating to try an establish a marine protected area. After all, scientists, resource managers, policy makers, and politicians create marine protected areas…That’s BullCrap!. It’s YOU, the people who create marine protected areas (MPAs for short). Sure, the people I mention to all the technical work but the politicians can’t pass the bill unless it’s demanded by the bill. Here’s why:
The Oceans aren’t as calm and undisturbed as you may think. There are many industries working out there in the Ocean…and they want to use all of it. Some example industries are oil and gas, fishermen, mining companies, and the tourism industry to name a few. Now I am not saying they are all bad and they are all out to ruin the Oceans, but they can do some damage if they are left unregulated and unmonitored (I bring to your attention the BP Oil Catastrophe as a prime example!).
When scientists, policy makers, environmental organizations, and other people including government departments try an create an MPA, they are halted by what we call human activities. The human activities don’t necessarily like the fact that they won’t be able to work in certain areas that are closed off…can you blame them? They never had to before. Why should they now? The pressure from the human activities lobby groups can halt and destroy plans for an MPA in YOUR country. Crazy eh (The Canadian in me!)?
Here’s Where You Come In
You, the people, have a chance to really change the way we protect our Oceans, especially those of you who live in a democratic society! The politicians that have the power to make laws and create MPAs work for YOU, the people; not the 5% of the population that want to make money. If you want to create an MPA in your country, you have a voice to do it. Especially in areas where there are no human activities. They are the easiest to get protected because there is virtually no resistance.
So your call to action is to find a marine area you would like to protect; gather many supporters over the internet; and, pressure your government to create the MPA! Contact Us to help you get supporters. Speak Up for Blue will help you in anyway that we can!