Open Channels Serving the Ocean Conservation Community with John Davis

By December 7, 2016 January 30th, 2017 Listener Starters Guide


Will Donald Trump cancel the Marine Monuments designated by President Obama as Executive Orders?


I’m really happy to put this episode up on the Speak Up For Blue Podcast. I’m happy because I’ve known John Davis at MARE (Marine Affairs Research and Education) for a while, and wanted to have him on the podcast for even longer, but I couldn’t find a way to build him in. Until today. John has been providing insider news, in a good way, to the marine science and conservation society. Particularly, the Marine Planning, Marine Protected Areas, and Marine Spatial Planning fields. In 1999, John created the first MPA News newsletter, it was designed to interview and document all the different experiences people were having with designing Marine Protected Areas. It’s proven to be a pretty critical piece to spreading and sharing information across the field. MPA News is still going strong today, 17 years later. John has also been involved in creating and working on other publications as well. One is MEAM (Marine Ecosystems And Management) which really focuses on ecosystem based management, which is a key buzzword and process within Marine Science & Conservation Management. The information John provides is necessary, and important. So much so, that he was approached by an foundation that asked him to create this (MEAM) because of his work with MPA News. Since then, John has created Open Channel, and another website called Marine Debris . Open Channel is an amalgamation of all of John’s work with his small but mighty team. It has benefitted the Ocean Planning community 110%.

The first part of this episode is dedicated to finding out how John created each one of these publications and created Open Channels. I’ve personally wanted to know more for a while. So this first portion is more self-serving for my own purposes. But no matter how you look at it, the way John has done things is amazing. The respect that he has garnered from foundations that have funded him in the past is honorable — because he has delivered, and produced on everything he said he would. An amazing feat for sure.

The second portion of this interview is really the hook of why I wanted John to join us. In a recent MPA News, John wrote an article of how the new and expanded MPA Monuments declared by  President Obama through executive order; how they may, or may not survive as the administration changes in the United States. These monuments are historical. The way they came to be was historical. To abolish those monuments would be a complete failure in the process of all the work that conservationists put together to enact these monuments and Marine Protected Areas.  Donald Trump and his Republican administration have said they plan to cancel all of the “Unconstitutional Executive Actions that President Obama has taken.” Now, this could mean a lot of things. It could mean anything to do with climate change, it could mean Marine Protected Areas if someone comes to them and requests a cancelation. We don’t know. These are the big questions. What John and I  did talk about in the second part of this interview, was how, and whether he could cancel these executive orders. It’s a big question mark. But we explore the legalities, and historically what has happened. It was refreshing to speak with someone like John who is an expert in marine protected areas, and because of the depth of his expertise can provide endless insight.

Do you think Donald Trump will be canceling these Marine Monuments and other executive orders, and why? I would love to hear from you. Don’t forget to subscribe, share and review us! 

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