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We are at a time when taking care of our Ocean is serious business for everyone on this planet. Yes, we think of ourselves here in Oregon as different, but we, too, need to buckle down, focus and plan for the future of our ocean.
It's a time when fishermen, elected officials, resource managers and conservationists clearly have a common interest - the Gulf disaster brings this point home. We all depend on the ocean's bounty. We have been in a period of thinking of the ocean as a vast wilderness with unlimited abundance, but pressures are increasing, and conditions are changing to something not seen before - ocean acidification, increased frequency and strength of storm event, southern species moving further north, new ocean-based power generating technologies that are being introduced around the world to get us off carbon-based fuels. It truly is a new ocean world.
Oregonians need to invest in the research and planning that is required to protect our marine resources for our lifetime and for future generations. This must involve identifying important ecological areas and protecting those in a scientifically-based system of marine protected areas and marine reserves along our coast. Further, this must involve identifying where our important crabbing and fishing are located so our independent-minded, proud coastal fishermen can continue their awesome work of feeding the world. And, we need to decide where do we want to experiment with ocean-based test projects for producing power.
We have found the political leadership at this time that is taking us in that direction with passage of HB 3013 which established the community-based marine reserve teams that are actively working to evaluate sites and with the drafting and approval of a brand new Wave Energy Chapter of the Territorial Sea Plan to provide clear direction and requirements for new ocean development projects. So, let's continue to "play well with others" rather than "run with scissors." We're all in this together, and decisions we make today will impact Oregon for generations to come.
posted 3 years ago
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