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A Plan To Rescue The Pacific Ocean By 2020


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Posted by gonphishing on June 08, 2009 at 17:26:29:

http://www.publicnewsservice.org/index.php?/content/article/9238-2

June 8, 2009
On this first "World Oceans Day," a group of scientists has released a report with an ambitious goal - to rescue the Pacific Ocean by the year 2020. The report, from the Center for Ocean Solutions and Stanford University, contains a daunting list of top threats to ocean health, including sewage, plastic debris, toxic waste, oil spills and runoff, both from agriculture and urban areas.

Francesca Koe, stakeholder of the Marine Life Protection Act for the north central coast, says destruction of marine habitats, and commercial and recreational overfishing, also are serious problems.

"Many things are put into the ocean and many things are taken out of the ocean, and all of these factors affect the sustainability of it."

In Koe's view, California has been a leader in creating policies to protect it. The state passed the Marine Life Protection Act ten years ago, which began the process of establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) along the coastline. Koe compares the MPAs to 401Ks - by setting something aside, a buffer is created for the longer term.

"It's not something that you access every day, but you build upon it and it grows bigger and healthier, so that, by the time you need it, it is vibrant and available."

Internationally, she says, scientists also worry about the acidification of the world's oceans. A mass extinction of corals is predicted by mid-century if the trends continue. Koe says coastal tourism, especially important in California, is particularly vulnerable to declines in marine resources.

The Pacific comprises half of the world's ocean area and one-third of the earth's surface, according to the Center.
Its report can be viewed online at www.centerforoceansolutions.org.



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