Turn Guantanamo Bay into Animal Conservation Facility

Hawksbill_Turtle_by_Derek_Keats

Target: President Barack Obama

Goal: Support scientists’ goal to turn Guantanamo Bay prison into a marine ecology lab.

Conservation scientist Joe Roman has a dream to turn Guantanamo Bay into an international marine research facility after it closes. While the plan has no federal support or funding yet, Guantanamo Bay has been the subject of controversy for decades. Using the property for a good cause could help redeem its terrible reputation, bring countries together, and allow scientists to learn more about sea life.

Roman claims that Guantanamo Bay is an ideal location. Because of little outside foot traffic, the area has remained relatively undisturbed. Scientists could easily study pristine coral reefs which have remained intact because the surrounding water has not been overfished. Endangered animals like the hawksbill turtle also nest in the area. By allowing researchers access to Guantanamo Bay, they will be able to study habitats that have been polluted or destroyed elsewhere, and can begin to strategize how to restore them. The isolated nature of the area will give everyone a clearer vision of climate change and humanity’s impact on biodiversity and the environment.

The possibilities of this lab are endless and could contribute to restoring fragile marine environments around the world. Please urge President Obama to support using Guantanamo Bay as an international marine research facility.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Obama,

Guantanamo Bay has done enough damage. But it could be transformed into an international marine research facility and effect positive change once the prison closes.

Scientists say that the area surrounding the prison has been relatively undisturbed. The lack of fishing and housing developments have kept the environment one of the cleanest in the Caribbean. It is ideal for studying coral reefs, fish and endangered wildlife that nest nearby. This land is a rare gem in a world where much of the ocean is polluted by trash and chemicals. We have so much to learn about marine preservation in a land that has maintained most of its natural integrity. Access to this area would mean that researchers could better study how humans contribute to climate change and how to reverse the damage that’s already been done.

Although this project is still in planning stages and not approved, your support could start a large effort in reducing the human footprint and the damage that has been done to our environment. Closing the prison is a great first step, but we can do more to bring nations together in the name of ecological research. Commit to the importance of ecological research and reversing climate change by transforming Guantanamo Bay into a marine research facility.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Derek Keats

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