Target: President Obama
Goal: Create marine protected areas to help penguins.
Antarctic penguins exist in a delicate balance with their ecosystem. The rapidly changing Antarctic environment is upsetting this balance, causing changes to penguin habitats and threatening krill, a small shrimp-like crustacean. There is growing interest in fishing for krill, which could further disrupt Antarctic ecosystems if not managed properly.
If the penguins are to be saved, we need to ensure that there are comprehensive networks of marine protected areas in Antarctica so that biodiversity and species protected and that scientists can better understand how Antarctic ecosystems are changing.
The United States needs to maintain its commitment to Antarctic conservation and research by taking a leadership role in getting both the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting and meetings of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources to designate new marine and terrestrial protected areas. Now is the time to ensure that we leave a legacy of Antarctic protection, not destruction.
Dear President Obama,
I want to thank you and the United States government for doing so much to protect the Antarctic, where many penguins live. In an era of dramatic changes for the Antarctic environment due to global warming, U.S. leadership in Antarctic governance is more vital than ever, but the most important work is yet to come.
In Paris last December, the world took steps to address carbon emissions. However, there is more to be done to enhance the resilience of Antarctic ecosystems to the impacts of climate change and other human caused threats to the region and the survival of penguins.
I strongly support the designation of comprehensive networks of terrestrial and marine protected areas in Antarctica so that biodiversity is protected and that scientists can better understand how Antarctic ecosystems are changing. All over the world, protected areas have been recognized as one of our most valuable tools to protect nature. I am grateful to the United States government for its leadership on Antarctic environmental issues over the past few decades, particularly on the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area.
At a time when some countries have been scaling back their Antarctic and climate change research, it is more important than ever that the U.S. is strongly committed to Antarctic research and takes a leadership role in getting both the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) and meetings of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to designate new marine and terrestrial protected areas.
Now is the time to ensure we leave a legacy of Antarctic protection, and that Antarctica will remain a reserve of peace and science for future generations of people and penguins. There is more work to be done. I encourage you to continue leading those efforts.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Guillermo Avalos