["Numbers rule the universe," Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras said. For the month of May, 13.7 Billion Years will reprise the theme from September 2010, presenting a new number to think about each weekday.]
According to the Pew Environment Group, America's coastal resources drive $138 billion in annual economic activity, 2.3 million jobs and 180 million recreational trips to the shore.
But on May 8, the House of Representatives is planning to consider an amendment that would block funding for the National Ocean Policy, what Christopher Mann, the director of Pew's Campaign for Healthy Oceans, describes as "a comprehensive, common-sense way to handle the growing demands on our coasts."
President Obama's Executive Order states that the policy aims to "achieve an America whose stewardship ensures that the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes are healthy and resilient, safe and productive, and understood and treasured so as to promote the well-being, prosperity, and security of present and future generations."
"It stimulates job creation and economic growth while protecting the health of ecosystems," said Mann. "Additionally, it coordinates more than 140 federal laws and dozens of federal agencies to improve management of our fisheries, prevent water pollution, and protect and restore coastal habitat."
This is a critical policy that is vital not only for the should health of the environment, but for the national economy. Blocking funding for this sensible policy would severely hamper public services that regulate the nation's fisheries, prevent water pollution and protect the coastal ecosystem.
As Obama noted in his Executive Order, "The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and resulting environmental crisis is a stark reminder of how vulnerable our marine environments are, and how much communities and the Nation rely on healthy and resilient ocean and coastal ecosystems."
- Have you ever enjoyed the American coastline? What's your favorite American beach? [add comment]
- After the horrific experience of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are we still debating whether or not to protect the nation's coastal ecosystems? [add comment]
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image: Daytona Beach, Florida (Pat Williams, Wikimedia Commons)