Commend President Obama for Expanding Pacific Marine Preserves

Target: U.S. President Barack Obama

Goal: Thank U.S. President for protecting Pacific waters

Amidst heated national debates that have occupied the media and the government, President Obama has quietly chalked up another victory for environmental reform and the protection of American ecosystems. The President recently declared nearly 3,000 square miles of Californian coastline a protected marine zone, effectively tripling the total area of northern California’s protected Pacific waters and marine sanctuaries.

This decision has led to the expansion of two important marine preserves. Prior to the expansion the Gulf of Farallones Marine Sanctuary and the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary protected only around 1,500 square miles of sea. They will now guard approximately 50 miles of coastline and will extend 30 miles into the Pacific Ocean, encompassing a total area of nearly 4,500 square miles.

The protected waters are said to support nearly 20% of the world’s fish population including salmon and other sport fish. Marine mammals also make the area their home—sea lions and multiple species of whales are all present there. The rich sea life present in the area is a major draw for visitors and helps to support California’s thriving tourism industry.

Allowing companies to drill in these zones would have had the potential to destroy not only the area’s biodiversity and ecological riches but also severely damage the economy. It is fitting, therefore, that President Obama’s decision places a permanent ban on offshore oil drilling in the protected zone, thereby protecting it from being tainted by a drilling disaster such as the BP oil spill, which befell the Gulf of Mexico in 2009.

That oil spill killed fish stocks and did billions of dollars worth of damage to the local economy. The expansion of these marine sanctuaries will help to prevent the Californian coast from suffering a similar fate.

Leading scientists, environmentalists, conservation groups, members of the fishing industry, and tourism officials have all come out in support of the President’s protection of the Pacific. Sign the petition and join them in thanking the President for fighting for these oceans.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Obama,

When faced with monumental challenges it can be easy to forget certain things; to neglect nagging problems and put other issues on the backburner. It is with great joy then that I write today, as it seems you have been an exception to this rule. In spite of the raging debates surrounding controversial and important issues you have managed to keep the whole picture in mind. Your decision to further protect California’s Pacific coastline is evidence enough of this.

Your decision has nearly tripled the area that marine sanctuaries protect in northern California. Because of you, thousands of square miles of ocean will be permanently safeguarded. This is an area of extreme biological richness and diversity, playing host to myriad species of fish, birds, and whales.

The world’s oceans are precarious things, Mr. President, constantly under threat. However, your ban on offshore drilling in the area will help to alleviate the threat, ensuring the local ecosystem stays healthy for years to come. Furthermore, this decision has helped to protect the local fishing and tourism industries, ensuring that residents of the area can continue to lead happy and profitable lives.

Thank you for keeping the Pacific in mind. Once again you have cemented your commitment to sustainability and to environmental protection. It would have been easy for you (or anyone else for that matter) to neglect this, letting it slip quietly away, lost amidst other more contentious issues. Yet you did not. You maintained your commitment and won a great victory for the conservation movement. Thank you very much, Mr. President.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: rkramer62 via flickr

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One Comment

  1. Nice petition.

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