viagra online

NGO Letter to West Coast Governors

{mosimage}The letter urges the Governors to focus on specific priorities in implementing the West Coast Governors' Agreement on Ocean Health. It was signed by 11 non-governmental organizations with offices in the three states.



The Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Ocean Conservancy
Oregon Ocean
Environmental Defense
Oceana
Natural Resources Defense Council
Surfrider Foundation
World Wildlife Fund
The Nature Conservancy
Environment California
Pacific Marine Conservation Council

November 12, 2006

The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor of California
The Honorable Theodore R. Kulongoski
Governor of Oregon
The Honorable Christine O. Gregoire
Governor of Washington

Dear Governors:

As leaders of the West Coast conservation community, we commend your strong commitment to protect and restore the health of our shared ocean and coastline, as outlined in your recent West Coast Governors’ Agreement on Ocean Health. We also applaud you for your joint letters to the President and Congress, sent on September 29, 2006, opposing any attempt to weaken the federal oil and gas leasing moratorium off the West Coast.

Your agreement to form a united front for ocean protection could not have come at a more crucial time. We need strong leadership to rebuild our depleted fisheries, protect wildlife populations, mitigate new coastal hazards, and negotiate among the many competing interests in how to use our public marine resources. We urge you to build on your early momentum, and focus on the following priorities as you begin to implement the new agreement.

1. Adopt Ecosystem-Based Approaches to Managing Ocean and Coastal Resources: A major cause of widespread problems in ocean and coastal health is the current lack of a coordinated resource management structure for effectively addressing the interconnectedness of natural systems. The existing management structure is disconnected and must be better focused on maintaining healthy ecosystems from land to sea that provide products and services humans want and need. We believe Washington, Oregon, and California should take immediate steps to improve communication and coordination among disjointed, single-sector management agencies. Agency mandates must be revised to incorporate the importance of an integrated management approach that takes into account the temporal and spatial scale of natural processes and defines decision-making based on ecosystems, and not jurisdictional or agency sectors. Enhanced coordination is also needed among federal, state, tribal and local governments that are jointly responsible for the management of ocean and coastal ecosystems.

2. Share Successful Ocean Governance Strategies: Due in large part to your leadership, progress is already underway in Washington, Oregon, and California to improve how we manage our oceans and coasts at the state and local levels. Key aspects for attaining ocean health include enhanced communication and coordination within government, better outreach to stakeholder groups, and a science-based focus on achieving ocean and coastal health. As part of implementing the new regional agreement, we encourage the states to create a forum whereby state, local and tribal government leaders and representatives from the broad range of involved stakeholder and community groups can communicate their experiences, share lessons learned, and generate ideas for how to make similar progress at the West Coast regional level.

3. Plan Carefully for Emerging Offshore Activities other than Oil & Gas Development: Our oceans are currently being assessed for their potential to host new technologies, such as wave and wind energy, liquefied natural gas terminals, and offshore aquaculture. As development pressures in ocean areas intensify, Washington, Oregon, and California must proactively develop strategies to ensure that the benefits of these enterprises do not come at the cost of the ocean environment, and that state authority over siting such operations is protected and enhanced. Given the current fragmentation of management authority in offshore areas, we urge the states to explore innovative mechanisms to improve coordination and collaboration both within their state agencies and across states, such as using spatial planning and detailed mapping data as tools for the responsible development of emerging offshore uses. Prior to permitting new offshore uses, we urge you to carefully consider the need for such activities and determine the most appropriate locations for future development.

4. Engage the Federal Government: Our states cannot restore the health of the ocean alone. Our ocean and coastal ecosystems do not function on political boundaries. We must have complementary federal and state management efforts if we are to succeed in our shared goal of healthy, productive oceans and coasts. Federal support and involvement in the West Coast initiative is essential given the national benefits of healthy oceans and the number and complexity of federal laws and authorities affecting marine resource management. Through the West Coast Governors’ Agreement on Ocean Health, Washington, Oregon, and California have demonstrated to the President and Congress the power of state leadership in advancing the shared recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission. We believe the time is right for the states to engage the Administration and the West Coast congressional delegation to champion our shared priorities and help implement the agreement.

5. Call for Enhanced Federal Support for Ocean Research and Management: Federal funding for ocean science and management continues to fall far short of what the two national ocean commissions identified as necessary to cope with burgeoning coastal populations and uses of the marine environment. Our oceans and coasts provide invaluable national benefits, including recreation, food, medicine, energy, trade, and defense. Washington, Oregon, and California should jointly call on the President and Congress to increase federal support for state efforts to advance our understanding of the complexity of ocean and coastal systems, and to develop innovative techniques for restoring and maintaining ecological integrity in the face of growing human use.

The West Coast Governors’ Agreement on Ocean Health represents a tremendous opportunity to stimulate meaningful action. We urge each of you to take full advantage of this opportunity by acting immediately and in concert to address the critical ocean issues that span our states. The five action items included in this letter represent key initial steps you could take as you begin to move forward with the regional initiative. We stand ready to assist you in your efforts to achieve healthy oceans and coasts on the West Coast, and we pledge to participate in workshops or other forums where we can help identify the most effective approaches to implementing the regional agreement. Thank you again for your leadership on these vital issues.

Sincerely,

Michael Sutton
Vice President & Director

Center for the Future of the Oceans
Monterey Bay Aquarium

Tim Eichenberg

Director
Pacific Regional Office
The Ocean Conservancy 

Jim Moriarty

Executive Director
Surfrider Foundation

Susan Murray

Acting Director, Pacific
Oceana

Matt Van Ess

Executive Director
Pacific Marine Conservation Council

Kate Wing

Ocean Policy Analyst
National Resources Defense Council

Dan Jacobson

Legislative Advocate
Environment California

Carolyn Waldron

Director
Oregon Ocean

Michael Osmond

Senior Program Officer
World Wildlife Fund

Rod Fujita, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist
Environmental Defense

Lynne Zeitlin Hale

Director
Global Marine Initiative
The Nature Conservancy

Comments are closed.