Target: John Kerry, US Secretary of State
Goal: Thank Kerry for his support of a proposal to create a 1.6 million square kilometer marine preserve in fragile Antarctic waters
New Zealand, Australia, and the United States are proposing to establish the largest marine conservation zone ever in the Ross Sea off Antarctica. They have been pushing for it since last year, but it was blocked by Russia and China at the time.
Recently, John Kerry voiced his personal support for the proposal. He said that “The Ross Sea is a natural laboratory, and we disrespect it at our peril, as we do the rest of the ocean.”
The Ross Sea is a huge sea off the coast of Antarctica and remains one of the last areas of ocean on Earth that is mostly unaffected by human activity – an increasingly rare and valued characteristic of any ecosystem. In the summertime, the area is home to some 16,000 species. Creating a marine preserve in the area would help preserve the sea’s incredible biodiversity.
The Ross Sea is one of the most remote and pristine places on the planet, and the efforts from upper-level government to protect it are commendable. Environmental activists have been advocating for such protections for years, and they want still more. But it will be an uphill battle to approve the proposal as it must get past China and Russia, who voiced concerns about it last year.
The proposal will be considered again in July. For the best chances of success, support from high levels of government – such as the office of the Secretary of State in the US – is extremely important. Sign this petition to thank John Kerry for his support of the preserve and to encourage him to push for its approval in July.
Dear Secretary of State John Kerry,
I am writing to thank you for your recent comments in support of the proposal to create a marine preserve in the Ross Sea. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), the body considering the proposal, rejected it in the past. Your support for this project, therefore, is not only welcome, but crucial. I ask that you continue to put the full weight of US foreign policy behind this important drive to protect one of the last places on Earth relatively free of human influence.
As you said yourself, the Ross Sea is a valuable component of the Earth’s environment. To upset or disturb the amazing variety of natural life that is there would be an unacceptable legacy to leave. Thank you for your support of this marine preserve.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: kenyai via Flickr