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In this issue...


(Source: MPA NEWS, Vol. 7, No. 5 (November 2005); John B. Davis, Editor;

International goals for the protection of oceans through MPAs will not be met by their set deadlines, according to a study announced at the First International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC1), held in Geelong, Australia, in October 2005.

Louisa Wood, a Ph.D. candidate of the Sea Around Us project at the Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia (Canada), released data indicating that the World Parks Congress target of creating a global system of MPA networks by 2012 - including "strictly protected areas" amounting to at least 20-30% of each habitat (MPA News 5:4) - will not be reached until at least 2085 at the current rate of global MPA designation. The 2085 date in itself represents a best-case scenario that is unlikely to occur. It assumes that all MPAs designated from now onward will be "strictly protected" - i.e., no-take - and that all existing MPAs will be converted to no-take as well. More realistic assumptions would delay the projected achievement date well past 2085, says Wood.

Similarly, a recommendation made earlier this year by a subsidiary body of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) - that 10% of all marine and coastal ecological regions be conserved in MPAs by 2012 - will not be met until 2069.

"The current rate of increase in protection is far below what is necessary to meet these targets," says Wood. Her data were gathered as part of the MPA Global project, which is building an enhanced database of MPAs worldwide (MPA News 6:8). Wood is heading the initiative, a collaboration with the UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas-Marine, and World Wildlife Fund.

Wood's projected rates of MPA designation are based on growth of global MPA coverage to date. Her projections were built on a linear regression of cumulative MPA area over time since 1979, and extension of that rate into the future. Wood emphasizes that the rate of designation represents a snapshot based on recent history. As initiatives to increase marine protection are implemented in national waters and on the high seas, the rate of increase in protection - and consequently the time by which targets are met - may also change.

* Responses *
Delegates to IMPAC1 responded with their thoughts on the implications of these findings, and how rates of MPA designation could be increased.

"There is no doubt that when the targets were set they were considered feasible," says Nik Lopoukhine, chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). "But unless there is a concerted effort to create more MPAs - and I would suggest they need to be at a scale that approaches that of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park - we are staring at failure. Success will be dependent on bringing in the resource sectors, the transportation sectors, and the broader communities to buy into the vision that was forged at the World Parks Congress and the targets under the Convention on Biodiversity."

Tundi Agardy, executive director of Sound Seas, a US-based NGO, cautions that the push for ambitious MPA targets on very short timeframes risks the danger of rewarding decision-makers for simply picking the "low-hanging fruit": designating sites that are politically easy rather than ecologically important. Despite this, she says, achieving the CBD and World Parks Congress targets in a meaningful way remains possible. "Many nations are consciously or sub-consciously moving toward ocean zoning, in which designation of special areas as MPAs is a critical step," she says. "And the world is coming to realize the value of coastal and marine ecosystem services, and will take extraordinary steps to establish regional or multi-lateral frameworks to make high-seas
MPAs and regional MPA networks a reality."

Penelope Figgis, WCPA vice chair for Australia and New Zealand, says the main factor in making progress on MPA designations is communication. "If the general community and decision-makers are adequately exposed to the wonders of the marine world and the truth about its destruction and degradation, they will be moved to act," she says. "We need communication experts as much as we need scientists." She acknowledges the likelihood of achieving the World Parks Congress target worldwide is low, but suggests the target still creates momentum for significant gains in marine protection in various regions. "Targets are a very useful mechanism," she says. "They create an impetus for a program and allow effort to be measured. Even if we fall short of the World Parks Congress and CBD goals, they will provide a stepping-stone for future targets after 2012."

Richard Kenchington, board chair of the International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN), says achieving the World Parks Congress target for strictly protected areas is unlikely to occur "for some decades", as it would require a scale and complexity of policy development and planning that is improbable within the next several years. Although he considers strictly protected areas to be an essential component of marine conservation, he questions whether the focus on them is more of a distraction than an aid. Where marine habitat protection is regarded simply as a conservation sector "use", he says, it can polarize (i.e., "no-take areas versus fisheries") rather than foster a coherent pursuit of both conservation and ecologically sustainable use of natural resources. He would like to see greater appreciation for the habitat protection afforded by other kinds of management measures, such as areas that are closed to certain gear types but open to others. "Conservation is more likely to be achieved through marine ecosystem and resource management organizations providing multi-objective policy, planning, and management than through continuing sectoral confrontations between conservation and fisheries," he says. By recognizing that other management regimes beyond no-take zones can protect habitat effectively, he says, our conception of "marine protected areas" will broaden, as will our appreciation for the true extent of
global marine conservation efforts.


[Note: The Ocean Project partner, the Campaign for Environmental Literacy, The Ocean Project and various other partners and friends assisted in bringing about this successful development.]

President Bush just signed into law the FY 2006 spending bill that controls the budget for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Education and Sustainable Development. Included in the bill is $6 million dollars for environmental literacy programming at NOAA, essentially restoring funding for the environmental education initiative at the NOAA Office of Education and Sustainable Development (OESD).

Earlier this year, the OESD’s education funding was slated to be completely eliminated. Funding in the FY 2006 Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill, allows OESD to continue its work for at least another year. As one of only two federal grant-making programs identified specifically for environmental literacy, this funding is extremely important to our community and will enable us to establish and grow critical education programs.

For more information:


The survey of 800 registered voters found that 79 percent favored "stronger national standards to protect our land, air and water," but only 22 percent said environmental concerns have played a major role in determining whom they voted for

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Durham, N.C. -- Eight-in-10 Americans say they support pro-environmental policies, but a new national survey by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University finds their support often stops short of the ballot box. The survey suggests opportunities for how to address this disconnect.

“These results are a wake-up call, but they also represent an important opportunity,” said Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute. “They help us understand what we need to do to build public consensus and break down barriers to environmental progress. This is central to the mission of the Nicholas Institute.”

The survey’s findings were announced Tuesday (today) by Profeta at a press briefing at the U.S. Senate. Profeta was joined by U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), William K. Reilly, former EPA head and chair of the advisory board of the Nicholas Institute, and Peter Nicholas, chairman of Boston Scientific. The Nicholas Institute, which commissioned the public opinion research in conjunction with its launch this week, was made possible through a $70 million gift to Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences by Nicholas and his wife Ginny.

The survey of 800 registered voters found that 79 percent favored “stronger national standards to protect our land, air and water,” with 40 percent strongly supporting it. But only 22 percent said environmental concerns have played a major role in determining whom they voted for in recent federal, state or local elections.

Even among self-described environmentalists, only 39 percent could recall an election where a candidate’s environmental stance was among the two or three most important reasons why they voted for or against him. “There is a clear disconnect here,” Reilly said. “Seventy-four percent of Republicans and 85 percent of Democrats say they support stronger environmental standards. Yet, when it comes time to vote, they rank the environment low on their list of priorities.”

In focus groups, the environment ranked last out of nine issues tested, both as a vote qualifier and in terms of expressed personal importance to voters. The nine issues, in order of their expressed importance, were: the economy and jobs; health care; Iraq; Social Security; terrorism; education; moral values; taxes; and the environment. Only 10 percent of voters identified the environment as one of their top concerns, compared to 34 percent for the economy and jobs.

The research was conducted for the Nicholas Institute by Hart Associates and Public Opinion Strategies. They surveyed 800 registered voters nationwide and conducted focus groups of voters in Columbus, Ohio, and Knoxville, Tenn. The survey results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percent.

The pollsters identified five reasons for the discrepancy between voters’ support of the environment in general, and their inconsistent support of it at the ballot box:
  • Misperceptions: A majority of voters, 57 percent, believe that “a lot” or “some” progress already has been made and that environmental problems are not as bad as they used to be. Only 30 percent described themselves as “angry” about lack of action.
  • Concerns about economic trade-offs: Eighty-seven percent of voters believe it is “at least somewhat likely” that stronger national environmental standards will result in higher taxes. Fifty-six percent fear higher standards will hurt the economy and cause some people to lose their jobs.
  • Lack of immediacy: In focus groups, voters told pollsters they perceive the environment as a long-term problem that can’t compare in urgency to immediate concerns such as jobs, health care or taxes.
  • Breadth of issues: The environment encompasses a broad range of issues, from global warming and sustainable agriculture to water quality and urban sprawl. Few voters care about them all.
  • Personal factors: Voters’ perceptions and priorities change in response to changing circumstances and personal responsibilities. “Voters can have on the equivalent of five different pairs of glasses when they judge a policy proposal,” pollster Peter Hart said.
The issue of trust -- or lack of it -- appeared to play a role in many voters’ ambivalent attitudes toward environmental problems. Only 19 percent said there are “a lot” of trustworthy sources of information on environmental issues, while another 40 percent said there are “likely some trustworthy sources.”

Voters generally viewed universities and research institutes as the most credible sources ofinformation and the least likely to have hidden agendas or special interests.Profeta, Reilly and the pollsters will present the results of the survey again at 9:45 a.m.Wednesday at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business as part of the Nicholas Institute’s inauguralenvironmental summit. Hundreds of top scientists and leaders from corporations, governments and environmental organizations are taking part in the three-day summit, which begins Tuesday night (tonight).

The Nicholas Institute was founded to provide decision makers with independent, science-driven evaluations of policy risks and rewards, and to work with them to develop innovative, practical solutions. It will unite the broad resources of the Duke University community with the expertise of partners in industry, government and environmental organizations worldwide.

For more information, contact: Tim Lucas, Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences | (919) 613-8084 |


The European Union (E.U.) launched an initiative to protect and conserve the marine environment, pledging to spend at least €70 million per year to aid surrounding seas and oceans from oil spills, overfishing, and climate change.

The new E.U. directive will centralize efforts to restore waters by forming coalitions of members sharing seas. Countries will then develop strategies for marine revival including cooperative environmental targets. "For the first time the E.U. is putting in place a policy framework which specifically addressed the vital issue of protecting Europe's seas and oceans," said Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas.

Dimas said setting a deadline for restoring sea life by 2021 is necessary to preserve E.U. wealth, trade and tourism. "Europe's seas and oceans make a huge contribution to our quality of life and our economic prosperity, but they are deteriorating because of over-exploitation, pollution, climate change, and a range of other factors," Dimas said. The commission said that between 13 and 25 percent of the world's coastal wetlands could be lost by 2080 due to rising sea waters -- necessitating further restrictions on oil and gas exploration in such areas.

However, critics said the directive lacked a binding commitment. "Today's proposal was expected to fill a gap in E.U. environmental policy," said a coalition of environmental groups. "The commission's text falls short. It is now up to the European Parliament and Council to set legally binding objectives within this directive, including a clear definition of what constitutes a healthy sea."


(Thanks to Environment and Energy Daily; for more information:

[Note: The Ocean Project will be working with our partners, including the Marine Fish Conservation Network, throughout 2006 to help secure a strong reauthorization. Anyone interested in this issue, please contact The Ocean Project to get on our ocean policy update list.]

Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) is planning to introduce his own proposal to revamp the Magnuson- Stevens Act -- the law that governs management of the nation's fisheries -- with the possibility of moving a bill this year, according to committee staff. Pombo has been laying low on the fisheries issue, allowing Fisheries Subcommittee Chairman Wayne Gilchrest (R.-Md.) to take the helm. But now the chairman is entering the scene, with plans to take the lead on the effort, staff said. That could leave the committee with two Republican proposals to reauthorize the act.

Staff said the two GOP proposals could end up looking very similar. Gilchrest outlined a timeline for his bill, saying he would like to introduce a draft in mid-to-late November, vote on the measure in April 2006, take it to the House floor in May and conference with the Senate next summer.

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, which dates to 1976, has formed the basis of U.S. fishery management in waters between three and 200 miles offshore, an area known as the Exclusive Economic Zone. The bill's funding authorizations expired five years ago, and congressional efforts to reauthorize it have been stymied by debates over how to balance the need to restore depleted fish stocks while ensuring the economic livelihood of the nation's seafood industry. But experts who follow the act said the stage is set for Congress to move on the measure in the coming year.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who brokered the first deal, has said it is a top priority for his panel. The Bush administration put forward its own proposal for reauthorization of the act last month. That language seems to be largely dead-on-arrival in the House, with no member having actually introduced it yet. But the push for reauthorization from the White House could help move legislation on the Hill.


(Source: SeaSpan, from the Pew Institute for Ocean Science; more information at

Despite attempts by several powerful governments to have non-governmental organizations (NGOs) banned from discussions on the future of the high seas, NGOs will be allowed to participate in crucial meetings next year. After global lobbying by members of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) to prevent the exclusion of NGOS at next year's UN General Assembly Working Group on marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction, government negotiators dropped the exclusion proposal. This means that NGOs will be allowed to participate, with the Woking Group Chair having the discretion to hold 'closed' sessions if it is felt to be necessary. Matthew Gianni of the DSCC said "we have averted a very dangerous and damaging precedent and ensured that civil society will continue to have a voice in the future of our global oceans." Government negotiators at the UN had raised the question of whether to ban NGOs from participating in a special General Assembly Working Group on marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction, which is scheduled to meet in February 2006.



(Source: SeaSpan)

In a recently released report, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) announced that without intervention half of the world's coral reefs will be gone by 2045. "Twenty percent of the Earth's coral reefs, arguably the richest of all marine ecosystems, have been effectively destroyed today," said Carl Gustaf Lundin, who runs the marine environment program for the World Conservation Union. The Swiss-based organization called for the establishment of additional marine protected areas to prevent further degradation by making corals more robust and helping them resist bleaching. Meanwhile, the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association has
reported that "a major coral bleaching event is underway in the Caribbean and may result in significant coral death in much of the region."

SOURCE: Associated Press, 28 October 2005

The coral reef report is available at

Related link:
This year's notably warmer-than-usual Atlantic waters--fuel for 2005's intense hurricane season-- have been devastating some life below the waves as well. Water temperatures have remained elevated for about 15 weeks, causing coral reefs to bleach from the Florida Keys to Puerto Rico to Panama. The micro-algae that feed corals, and give them their bright colors, leave or are ejected when the water is too warm. Current stress levels are double what corals normally face, and may kill 80 to 90 percent of reef structures in some parts of the Caribbean. With about 80 percent of the Caribbean's reefs already lost to development, pollution, and other factors, researchers seem to be -- not to put too fine a point on it--freaking out. "These levels are like nothing we've ever seen" in 20 years of monitoring, says NOAA Coral Reef Watch coordinator Al Strong. "We are talking extremely high percentage of bleaching and what seems to be extreme mortality." For the full story, go to:,1,3692181.story?coll=la-news-a_section

SOURCE: Kenneth R. Weiss and Usha Lee McFarling: Warm Oceans Threaten Caribbean Coral Reefs. Los Angeles Times, 25 Oct 2005. Cited in The Daily Grist, 25 October 2005,


In the midst of a public process to designate the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands as the nation's 14th marine sanctuary, NOAA has rejected a proposal to fish the 1,200-mile long island chain. NOAA Administrator Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher told conservation advocates that he had just signed and delivered a letter to the Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council (WESPAC) informing them that NOAA has rejected their proposed fishery plan for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands as "incompatible with proposed sanctuary goals and objectives." Stephanie Fried, an Environmental Defense senior scientist based on Oahu, called Lautenbacher's decision, "a significant and very welcome breakthrough."

SOURCE: Environmental Newswire, 26 October 2005


Related link:
The non-governmental organizations Ocean Conservancy and Marine Conservation Biology Institute have jointly released a new report showing repeated overfishing in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The report says that the area was overfished or in the danger zone in 11 out of 16 years--from 1988 to 2003--with only limited fishing pressure, as few boats have fished the distant region. Despite the low fishing presence, commercial fishing has harmed the rich ecosystem, leading to a decline in the important bottomfish populations that exist in the unique
archipelago. A unique and diverse ecosystem exists in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands archipelago, which stretches from the main islands to Midway. This ecosystem contains extensive and massive reef colonies and thousands of marine species. It is also important culturally for the native Hawaiian community. The report shows that even this relatively untouched region is susceptible to harm from even limited commercial fishing. The report’s conclusions are based on recently adopted methods of analysis, using data provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. For more information and to read the report, go to


Global warming may benefit salmon in Norwegian rivers by causing more rainfall, which could dilute industrial acids blown from other parts of Europe. In the past, a spring thaw used to wash out large amounts of poisonous nitrates that accumulate in winter snows, according to a long-term study of rain, snow and river acidification recently published by the Norwegian Institute for Water Research. But climate change in the past 20-30 years means that more precipitation falls as rain, washing nitrates more evenly into rivers year-round, and curbing a spring surge of nitrates when salmon smolt are most vulnerable to poisoning. (A smolt is a young salmon at the stage when it migrates from fresh water to the sea.)

SOURCE: Reuters, 7 November 2005

News link:


Spanish fishermen are devastating stocks of deep-water sharks in the northeast Atlantic, using wasteful and unregulated methods that leave more than half of their catch to rot, according to an investigation by Irish, Norwegian and British marine experts. In two reports produced this year they found that the trawlers frequently leave nets unattended for weeks, even months, in hopes of maximizing profits. They estimate that the practice may have wiped out four-fifths of two threatened species: the leafscale gulper shark and the siki shark, also known as the Portuguese dogfish

SOURCE: Shawn Pogatchnik, Associated Press, 10 October 2005.
Cited in ENN,


(Source: SeaSpan)

European Union (EU) ministers failed to agree to tighter rules on trawling in the Mediterranean, after 15 years of talks. With species like sardines, hake and swordfish disappearing after years of overfishing, the proposed new regulation aimed to make fishermen use nets with larger holes so that younger fish have a better chance to escape. The rules also set minimum distances for trawlers from the coastal zones that are home to sensitive wildlife and fish habitats. Opposition to the proposed regulation was led by France and Italy, which complained of the threat to the local industries whose livelihoods depend on small-scale fishing. The EU says it cannot save Mediterranean fish stocks from collapse on its own, since the region is an international fishing zone that is bordered by many other non-EU countries.

SOURCE: EUCC Coastal News and EUCC Euro-Mediterranean Newsletter. News # 9 & 10 September-October 2005

News link:

Related link:
A new report and proposal for the conservation of Mediterranean deep-seas ecosystems is available from IUCN-The World Conservation Union. The report contains an overview of the diversity, structure, functioning and anthropogenic impacts of these ecosystems, and a proposal for their conservation that considers the current legal situation with respect to these areas, as well as the international policy context and the current commitments of the UN and of partners to the relevant international conventions. Download the report at


(Source: SeaSpan)

Local chiefs of Fiji's Great Sea Reef have established the first of a series of marine protected areas that, if fully implemented, will form one of the world's largest networks of marine sanctuaries. The five protected areas include permanent 'taboo zones,' where no fishing or harvesting of other marine resources is permitted. Macuata province is in the north central region of Fiji's Vanua Levu Island. The Fiji Locally Managed Marine Areas Network has inspired marine conservation by working with 40 traditional fishing communities since 2000. Covering more than 200,000 square kilometers (77,220 square miles), the Great Sea Reef, locally known as the Cakaulevu Reef, is inhabited by thousands of marine species, many of them found nowhere else on Earth.

SOURCE: Environmental News Service, 4 November 2006

News link:

Related link:
The first comprehensive survey of Fiji's largely uncharted Great Sea Reef, the world's third longest
barrier reef, by the World Wildlife Fund, has revealed a staggering array of life, including a new
species of reef fish. Download the report at


(Source: SeaSpan)

Seafood consumption rose for the third straight year in 2004, as Americans ate a record 16.6 pounds of fish and shellfish per person, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service has announced. This is the third year in a row that U.S. per capita seafood consumption has increased. The 2004 figure is up from 16.3 pounds per person in 2003, an increase of two percent. In 2001 the rate was 14.8 pounds per person, and in 2002 it was 15.6 pounds per person.

SOURCE: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service

News link:


(Source: SeaSpan)

A Japanese whaling fleet has set out for the Antarctic on its first hunt after the country doubled its target catch, a move condemned by anti-whaling nations. The six-ship fleet set off from the port of Shimonoseki in western Japan, aiming to catch about 850 minke whales, almost double the previous annual target of 440, and to add 10 fin whales to what Japan calls its scientific whaling program, a spokeswoman for the Institute of Cetacean Research said.

SOURCE: Reuter's News Service 9 November 2005

News link:


A lawsuit recently filed in U.S. federal court claims that sonar used during routine testing and training by the Navy harms marine mammals in violation of bedrock environmental laws. The case follows a successful lawsuit that blocked the global deployment of the Navy's new low-frequency active sonar system and restricted its use for testing and training to a limited area of the northwestern Pacific Ocean. This new lawsuit targets training with mid-frequency sonar, the principal system used aboard U.S. Naval vessels to locate submarines and underwater objects. The lawsuit was brought by a coalition of conservation and animal welfare organizations led by the Natural Resources Defense Council.



Thursday, November 10, 2005
By Dana Blanton

NEW YORK — Most Americans believe global warming exists and a majority thinks it is a major problem — if not a crisis, according to a recent FOX News poll. Even so, less than half think they personally can do anything about the problem.

The new national poll finds that 77 percent of Americans believe global warming is happening and, of those, more than twice as many think it is caused by human behavior (46 percent) than by normal climate patterns (17 percent). About a third says it is a combination of both (30 percent).

All in all, Americans take the issue of global warming seriously. A 60 percent majority describes the situation as either a crisis (16 percent) or a major problem (44 percent), while about one in five say it is a minor problem (22 percent) and one in ten "not a problem at all" (12 percent).

"Despite the skepticism that has been expressed by some business, scientific and political leaders, the existence and importance of global warming seems to be the consensus position of Americans," comments Opinion Dynamics Chairman John Gorman. "This lopsided acceptance of the problem is something we don’t see for many other issues."

Majorities believe recent summers have been hotter and winters have been warmer compared to when they were growing up. And most people (75 percent) think they understand the issue of global warming: 27 percent say they understand it "very" well and another 48 percent "somewhat" well.

Still, less than half of Americans (45 percent) think there is anything they can do to stop global warming. When read a list of possible ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the most popular actions people say they are likely to take include buying more energy-efficient appliances and getting educated about global warming. Fully 80 percent of Americans say they are likely to buy more energy-efficient appliances and 73 percent say they are likely to make a point to learn more about global warming.

Even if it costs a bit more, two-thirds of Americans (67 percent) say they are likely to replace their regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (39 percent "very" and 28 percent "somewhat" likely). Six in 10 are likely to cut down on driving or carpool more often (35 percent "very" and 26 percent "somewhat" likely).

The least likely action was buying a hybrid electric car, but these results should still be heartening to those concerned about global warming (and to manufacturers of hybrid cars). Even if it were to cost a few thousand dollars more, almost half of Americans (45 percent) say they are likely to buy a hybrid car, including 23 percent that say they are very likely to do so.

Views are mixed on how much the country is doing to reduce global warming: 34 percent think the United States is doing more than other industrially developed countries, but a slim 38 percent plurality thinks the country is doing less. Few think the United States is doing "the same" (7 percent) as other countries and about one in five is unsure (19 percent)

Although there is widespread support for giving tax incentives to businesses that develop ways to improve the environment, the public does not put the responsibility for protecting the environment on manufacturers.

Almost equal numbers of Americans think citizens themselves (20 percent) should be responsible for protecting the nation’s environment as think the government should be primarily responsible (19 percent). Less than one in ten (8 percent) think it is mostly the responsibility of manufacturers. Half of respondents give the unprompted response "all" should be responsible.

There is sizable support for giving tax incentives to businesses that develop ways to improve the environment, as 72 percent of Americans say they favor such incentives — more than three times as many as oppose them (20 percent).

Partisan differences are clear on the issue of global warming. Democrats are significantly more likely than Republicans to think global warming exists (83 percent vs. 66 percent), and more than three times as likely to call the situation a crisis (22 percent vs. 6 percent). Conversely, Republicans are almost twice as likely as Democrats to think the United States is doing more than other countries to reduce global warming (48 percent vs. 25 percent).

One thing both parties mostly agree on is using tax incentives to encourage businesses to be more eco-friendly, as 70 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of Republicans favor the idea.

Opinion Dynamics Corporation conducted the national telephone poll of 900 registered voters for FOX News on October 25-26.

The poll results can be found at


(Source: SeaSpan)

A feature article in the New York times focuses on new Arctic exploration and exploitation being made possible by rapid melting attributed to global warming. The authors write, "The Arctic is undergoing nothing less than a great rush for virgin territory and natural resources worth hundreds of billions of dollars." According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Arctic may hold up to a quarter of all the world's yet unidentified oil and gas reserves, which are suddenly becoming both available and much more valuable. In addition, the melting is opening up shorter trade routes and making cold-water fisheries that previously were beyond the reach of commercial ships available for exploitation. The in-depth story is available at:

SOURCE: Clifford Krauss, Steven Lee Myers, Andrew C. Revkin, and Simon Romero: As Polar Ice Turns to Water, Dreams of Treasure Abound. New York Times, 10 October 2005.


(Source: SeaSpan)

British Fisheries Minister, Ben Bradshaw has announced a new Marine Fisheries Agency. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says the agency will carry out fisheries inspection and enforcement work previously done by the Sea Fisheries Inspectorate in England and Wales. The agency was established to take direct responsibility for a number of executive delivery activities that were the responsibility of policy teams within the Fisheries Directorate and the Sea Fisheries Inspectorate. It brings together for the first time in one organization the service delivery, inspection and enforcement activities provided by the Government to the fishing industry and other marine stakeholders in England and Wales. The new agency will also be responsible for administering fishing licensing and quota regimes, the provision of grants and advice to the fishing sector, collating and analyzing statistical data on UK fisheries, and providing some marine conservation services. The agency was created following a recommendation made by the Review of Marine Fisheries and Environmental Enforcement. For more about the new agency, go to its website at



(Source: SeaSpan)

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum is comprised of 21 Pacific Rim economies which account for 57 percent of global GDP (gross domestic product), 45 percent of global population and 47 percent of world trade. In addition, these economies account for over 75 percent of the world's capture fisheries, over 90 percent of world aquaculture production and 70 percent of the world's global consumption of fish products. Participants in the second APEC Oceans Related Ministerial Meeting in Bali produced a Joint Ministerial Statement and the Bali Plan of Action, which contains practical commitments to work towards healthy oceans and coasts for the sustainable growth and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific community. This plan is intended to guide the work of APEC ocean-related working groups for the rest of the decade through domestic and regional actions in three key areas: (1) to ensure the sustainable management of the marine environment and its resources; (2) to provide for sustainable economic benefits from the oceans; and (3) to enable sustainable development of coastal communities, including actions to reduce the vulnerability of Asia-Pacific communities to future natural disasters and climatic change, recognizing, in particular, the importance of swift reconstruction of those communities affected by the 2004 tsunami. Ministers also underscored the importance of coastal hazard detection and early warning systems.

SOURCE: FishNews, 23 September 2005, (click on the FishNews icon)


(Source: SeaSpan)

Admiral James D. Watkins, chairman of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, and the Honorable Leon E. Panetta, chairman of the independent Pew Oceans Commission, have announced the creation of a bipartisan Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. One of the primary objectives of the Initiative is to increase pressure on senior officials at all levels of government to move forward more quickly on implementing a comprehensive national ocean policy. The Initiative will realize this goal by tapping into and working closely with networks of people involved in local, state, and regional ocean issues, thereby facilitating progress in the regions while building durable support for the Initiative's national priorities.

The Initiative also will pursue movement on select national ocean policy issues based on the Commissions' core priorities. "Action is needed now--to implement a national strategy to protect, maintain and restore the nation's priceless economic and ecological assets--our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes," said Watkins. "We need a more coherent strategy if we hope to predict, avoid, or minimize the challenges facing our oceans and coasts. Our new effort, the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, will push to accelerate the implementation of and the increase of funding for policies and science that will help protect and enhance the value of the oceans for the long haul... There has been some progress, but we need to pick up the pace or we run the risk of incurring greater economic and ecological losses," said Watkins. "The failure to act expeditiously on these recommendations threatens the economic and ecological health of our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes, whose resources and services are fundamental contributors to the U.S. economy, national security, and quality of life." For more information, go to

SOURCE: Joint Ocean Commission Initiative Press Release, 22 September 2005.


Planning for World Ocean Day 2006 is underway with just over six months until June 8, 2006. Thanks to many of you, World Ocean Day 2005 was a great success with many The Ocean Project partners from around the globe participating with a variety to events to celebrate our world ocean. The Ocean Project is continuing its commitment to providing resources to our partners hosting World Ocean Day activities. We plan to launch a new World Ocean Day website and there will be many other exciting developments early in 2006.

It is not too early to start planning your events. Please visit our website for a list of events from previous years as well as a suite of ideas on how your institution might encourage your visitors and members to celebrate World Ocean Day. We would also like to encourage you to register your event on our website. Please contact Denise Washko, our World Ocean Day Coordinator, if you have any World Ocean Day comments or questions.


[Note: This paper comes from 2004 but is nonetheless well worth a review. It introduces some of the latest perspectives from communication theory and practice. Geared toward grantmakers, it is useful for all The Ocean Project partners to promote more effective communication strategies.]

Communications for Social Good by Susan Nall Bales and Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. examines foundation opportunities and techniques to leverage social change goals through the use of communications media.

Full Paper:
Executive Summary:
Discussion guide:

From Executive Summary:

If foundations are more intentional in using communications as a tool for social change, and if they incorporate what is known about how the media affect individuals and groups into their grantmaking, they will be much more likely to achieve the kind of long-term change in public understanding and opinion that is needed to maximize their impact. This paper presents the latest perspectives from communications theory and practice in order to update philanthropic thinking and help philanthropists judge effective communications practices among their grantees and within their own organizations


Some The Ocean Project partners may already be using this interactive tool to help nonprofits make smart communications choices as we have featured their information in the past and also brought Kristen Grimm, President of Spitfire Strategies to present at an AZA conference a few years ago. If you have not yet done so, you may want to check out the free online tool for strategic and effective communications at

This website is an interactive tool to help you make smart communications choices. The Interactive Smart Chart can help you assess your strategic decisions if you are:

Just starting the communications planning process, Evaluating a communications campaign already in progress, or Reviewing an effort you've already completed.

The Interactive Smart Chart takes you through six major strategic decision sections:

Step One: Program Decisions
Step Two: Context (Internal and External Scans)
Step Three: Strategic Choices (Audience, Message and Messenger)
Step Four: Communications Objectives
Step Five: Tactics
Step Six: Program Evaluation

More at and


This periodical by Harvard Family Research Project is available on their website. It focuses on evaluation methodology, covering topics in contemporary evaluation thinking, techniques, and tools. Mel Mark, president-elect of the American Evaluation Association, kicks off the issue with a discussion about the role that evaluation theory plays in our methodological choices.

Other voices in the issue include Georgia State University evaluator Gary Henry, who makes the case for a paradigm shift in how we think about evaluation use and influence, and Robert Boruch, a Campbell Collaboration founder, who discusses the role of randomized trials in defining "what works."

Other contributors to the issue respond to various "how to" questions, such as how to foster strategic learning, how to find tools that assess nonprofit organizational capacity, how to select and use various outcome models, how to increase the number of evaluators of color, how to enhance multicultural competency in evaluation, and how to measure what we value so others value what we measure.

Finally, the issue explores theory of change, cluster evaluation, and retrospective pretests -- methodological approaches currently generating much interest and dialogue.

The issue is available at For more see


[Note: The Ocean Project is featuring this as it is a decade-long event that some of our partners may want to become more involved in; also, see below for Our Common Future.]

There can be few more pressing and critical goals for the future of humankind than to ensure steady improvement in the quality of life for this and future generations, in a way that respects our common heritage – the planet we live on. As people we seek positive change for ourselves, our children and grandchildren; we must do it in ways that respect the right of all to do so. To do this we must learn constantly – about ourselves, our potential, our limitations, our relationships, our society, our environment, our world. Education for sustainable development is a life-wide and lifelong endeavour which challenges individuals, institutions and societies to view tomorrow as a day that belongs to all of us, or it will not belong to anyone. To learn more go to Ocean ProjectIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

You may also want to review Our Common Future, which is essential reading on this overarching issue: World Commission on Environment and Development (1987). Our Common Future. Oxford University Press. Oxford and New York.


[Note: Environmental Concern is a new The Ocean Project Partner.]

Environmental Concern Inc. is looking for partners to help offer exciting wetland education opportunities to educators worldwide. One, two and three-day trainings are available in both nationally respected curriculum guides, WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands and POW! The Planning of Wetlands. Local partners help secure a date and a location as well as recruit participants. In return, Environmental Concern offers two free spaces in the course as well as acknowledgement on website. See our partnership flyer online for more information:

Founded in 1972, Environmental Concern Inc. has been dedicated to promoting public understanding and stewardship of wetlands through education and outreach, native species horticulture, and restoration and creation initiatives for over thirty years.

WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands (Co-published with Project WET) - Over 300 pages of hands-on multidisciplinary activities in lesson plan format, extensive background information on wetlands, ideas for student action projects, and a wetlands resource guide helps educators integrate wetlands throughout the curriculum. Recommended Resource by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). For more information, see

POW! The Planning of Wetlands – Using POW!’s 25 hands-on activities, students take control and transform their schoolyard into a living and breathing wetland. (Course alumni receive on-going technical support and guidance from Environmental Concern.) For more about POW!, go to

Helping the youth of today take control of their tomorrow. Visit for more information.

Environmental Concern can also custom tailor a wetlands workshop to specifically fit your needs. To find out more or to set up a workshop in your area, contact:
Sarah Toman, Wetland Educator, Environmental Concern
410-745-9620 - -


  • To promote sustainable use of marine/freshwater resources
  • To promote responsible aquaculture: any fish consumed affects an ecosystem
  • To encourage and empower consumers to be able to make sustainable choices when buying seafood
  • To encourage the use of other products and services that support positive environmental changes
The World Ocean Network ( is divided into several committees, with the Concrete Conservation Field Actions group empowered to motivate real change towards the United Nations mandate of Sustainable Oceans within ten years of the 2002 Johannesburg Summit. The aims of the committee in 2005-2006 are to develop the Sustainable Seafood Campaign as a global engagement of the widest representation of the possible stakeholders as a group to establish on a regional basis current conditions of the fisheries with the idea to create positive change through information strategies which bring additional economics along the chain of custody to inspire cooperation toward more sustainable practices.

Current Objectives:
  • Data collection
  • Create grid and rubric for achievement levels recognizing labelers, local assessment information, stock stress/use, and biodiversity
  • Cycled Protected Areas
  • Niche economic areas
  • Tourism impacts and
  • Public understanding
Reporting quarterly results at the World Aquarium’s virtual office at For more information: Leonard A. Sonnenschein, Chair, World Ocean Network's Concrete Conservation Field Actions Committee & Sustainable Seafood Campaign;

on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration "Forging the National Imperative"

December 9-13, 2006
New Orleans, Louisiana, Hilton Riverside Hotel

Call for Dedicated Sessions

Restore America's Estuaries is pleased to announce the Call for Dedicated Sessions for "Forging the National Imperative," the 3rd National Conference on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration. Proposals are due February 15, 2006. For more information or to download the application, visit


Applications due: 9 December 2005, 5:00 PM Alaska time

The North Pacific Research Board in Anchorage, Alaska, announces an opportunity for marine research activities on or relating to the fisheries or marine ecosystems in the Arctic Ocean, Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, and Gulf of Alaska, and adjacent waters. Approximately $5.15 million may be made available. Research priorities include ocean monitoring, lower trophic level productivity, fish habitat, fish and invertebrates, marine mammals, seabirds, humans, contaminants, use of local and traditional knowledge, and response of the Bering Sea ecosystem to climate change. Final award decisions will be made in March 2006 and research may begin in June 2006. The full request for proposals, schedule, and application package are available at

SOURCE: Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE) Weekly Newsletter, 31 October 2005


DATES: 29 November - 2 December 2005

Understanding the ecosystem role, function and value of deep-sea corals and associated fauna has become a priority topic for many national governments and international regional resource management bodies. The symposium will facilitate global exchange of the current scientific knowledge of deep-sea corals and associated fauna and to discuss possible statutory means available to conserve and protect deep-sea habitat. For more information, go to


DATES: 19-21 April 2006
LOCATION: Virginia Key, Florida

The First International Symposium on Mangroves as Fish Habitat will be held at the Auditorium of the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. The intent of this symposium is to provide an oral and written forum for the exchange of ideas, approaches, methods and pertinent data on the linkages between mangrove forests and the fishes and fisheries associated with them. A core of international experts will be invited to lead discussion on the major issues and questions raised. For more information, view


Application deadline: 2 DECEMBER 2005

The newly established Western Australian Marine Science Institution will build upon the State's strong marine science capacity to establish a world-class science centre. The Chief Executive Officer will report to a Board and be responsible for operating strategies for achieving the Institution's objectives, business plans and new funding mechanisms for the ongoing development of the Centre. The position will have Professorial standing at The University of Western Australia. For further information, go to:


LOCATION: National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA

The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) has begun a three-year program to address gaps in knowledge that are critical to successful implementation of ecosystem- based management (EBM) in coastal marine systems. NCEAS seeks a Program Director to coordinate and provide strategic direction for the $2 million program, including programmatic and financial oversight, short- and long-range planning relative to the goals and activities, coordinating the proposal review and award process; and supervising two scientific staff. Applicants should have a Ph.D. in ecology, biology, natural resources, environmental science or a closely related field. A strong scientific background is required, particularly in the areas of ecology, marine biology, or conservation science. Additional experience in project management, policy and resource management, and coordinating is desirable. Preference will be given to candidates with experience working with research groups involving a diverse array of participants, formulating strategic work plans, and managing research projects. Experience and skills associated with promoting collaboration and integration of effort required.

For details or to apply, go to


LOCATION: Washington, D.C.

The non-governmental organization Oceana seeks a marine wildlife scientist to serve as a key member of the Science Division, provide scientific support, and play a substantive role on Oceana campaigns and project teams. The success applicant will play a key role in, and may have primary responsibility for researching Oceana's major campaign topics, developing policy initiatives, and preparing scientific reports. The position requires extensive outside contact, particularly with research scientists and representatives of other organizations. Qualifications include a master's degree in a relevant scientific discipline such as marine biology, oceanography, or conservation biology.

For more information, visit

The Ocean Project Feature of the Month

Remember to regularly check out The site changes on the first of each month, with an entirely new conservation themed focus, related daily action tip, and more. Lots of ideas and inspiration for personal action!
Theme for November is "Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" and December is all about how you can “Celebrate the Seas(on) in style"!

Use the content from the site for your own purposes, or you can link directly to the site so your visitors and members can easily access empowering information. If your institution is interested, The Ocean Project can work with you to tailor the Seas the Day site for your audience. Contact Bill Mott, for more information.

The Ocean Project
Phone: +1.401.709.4071
PO Box 2506
Providence, Rhode Island 02906 USA – learn more – take action today – celebrate our ocean.