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post #1 of 8 Old 07-10-2006 Thread Starter
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Save our oceans!!

Published on Saturday, July 8, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
Save Our Oceans
by Ralph Nader


Millions of Americans will enjoy the ocean beaches this coming weekend. Tens of millions live within a few miles of the Atlantic and the Pacific. Yet if they could, these oceans would be crying out for help.

Just a few days ago, another foreboding peril was documented connecting global warming with the accelerating deterioration of coral reefs around the world - a critical sanctuary for marine life.

Torrents of chemical and other poisonous runoffs into the oceans have led to "dead zones" where only some of the smallest marine organisms can survive. These areas are created in significant part by synthetic nitrogen fertilizers flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, for example, and nourishing massive algal blooms which then decay and cause oxygen-depleted "dead zones."

Corporate industrial agriculture is a major source of pollution of fisheries, such as mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Note the sequence. Huge animal feed operations for cattle, poultry, and hogs produce animal wastes laden with agrichemicals and agridrug residues. They harm the ocean fisheries that then are consumed, at a diminishing rate, by men, women, and children. Pregnant women are warned about eating swordfish routinely, for instance, due to mercury contamination.

As wild fish are reduced in number by overfishing and contamination, corporations erect fish farms and fill them with all kinds of drugs and pesticides to keep the domestic fish alive long enough in this artificial environment to be harvested. Salmon farms exemplify this problem.

Along comes David Helvarg, author of the engrossing "Blue Frontier," with a beautiful paperback titled "Fifty Ways to Save the Ocean" (www.innerocean.com) that lays out your role in saving this great ecosystem of the Planet Earth.

These include, number 37, working to create wilderness parks under the sea (George W. Bush just decreed one off the Hawaiian Islands) that are off limits to exploitation, as well as supporting marine education in our schools, number 42.

Other "ways" are "what fish you should and shouldn't eat and which are endangered or could impact your health; how saving energy can help save the sea; proper diving, surfing, and tide pool etiquette," and joining in a "coastal cleanup."

Helvarg, founder of the citizen group, Blue Frontier (www.bluefront.org) took his "50 Ways" book on tour along one coastal community after another a few weeks ago. He received a great reception by the growing number of "seaweed activists" who know Helvarg because he either dove into the oceans with them or compiled their groups in his groundbreaking "Ocean and Coastal Conservation Guide 2005-2006" (Island Press), the Blue Movement Directory.

Few people understand how intricately critical are the oceans to life on the earth part of the Planet. Even fewer know how fragile a variety of conditions are in the Oceans which are daily being battered by man's effusions (e.g., plastic trash) and predations, (e.g., industrial overfishing).

One study concluded that the Big Fish in the oceans are down by 90%. They have been hunted or destroyed one way or another. The total ocean catch has been declining for several years.

Enjoy, enjoy the oceans, urges Helvarg. But do so with ecological wisdom, if only for the sake of your descendents. In his foreword to "50 Ways to Save the Ocean," Phillipe Cousteau writes "Each one of us has an earth echo, it defines our relationship with the planet and each other. . . . Begin creating an earth echo that you can be proud of."
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-10-2006
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Excellent post mate, ill keep a close eye on this one, and the responses...

-- Never Was Anything Great Achieved, Without Danger --
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-10-2006
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Yes, all the rain we've had this summer has threatened the local fisheries, as much more pollution has run off due to the rain than is normal. Same with sewage, as the treatment plants were never designed to handle rains as we've experienced this spring and summer.

The barnacle and slime growth in the bay has been phenomenal...with barnacles on some of the boats in my marina already, just a month or two after they were put in the water.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #4 of 8 Old 07-12-2006
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Thank you for putting this topic up on Sailnet. As a lifelong surfer and sailor I am very concerned about the deterioration of our oceans and bays. We as sailors need to be much more vocal and involved on this topic.

I highly recommend the article written by Angus Phillips last Saturday in the Washington Post about the Chesapeake Bay. He is an avid sailor, outdoorsman and enviromentalist who regularly writes about the impact of pollution on the Bay. Here is the link:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...070800702.html

Here is an excellent cause if you want to get started doing something:

http://www.savethealbatross.net/the_...atest_2005.asp
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-12-2006
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Good article Surfesq. It would also apply to many of the rivers up in New England to some degree.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #6 of 8 Old 07-14-2006
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We need to keep this topic on the front page of Sailnet. I know, not everyone on sailnet is a liberal. (I am certainly not one). However, conservative v. liberal has nothing to do with conservation of our most precious natural resources.
I am a member of Isaac Walton League..one of the first conservation organizations in the US, it is a nice mix of both political persuasions. You have hunters and enviromentalists in one group. (Always completely amusing when politicians come through).

Here is the issue: Who wants to sail or surf in a **** hole? I certainly do not....

If you feel the same way... help other like minded people on this site figure out what they can do to save the environment.

Here is an easy one: Save the Bay...

http://www.savethebay.org/

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post #7 of 8 Old 07-14-2006
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For once, I'd have to agree with Surfesq... this is a very important subject...and should be kept out front.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #8 of 8 Old 07-14-2006
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SD, you agree with me a lot more than you will admit! What is your environmental cause?
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