In response to a letter sent by 115 Ocean Leaders to the leading presidential candidates Secretary Clinton has released a two-page response on what she will do to protect our coast and ocean if elected. With just over two months until the vote, this marks the first time in the campaign where a major candidate has addressed the daunting issues confronting America’s public seas.
“As President of the Untied States, I will work to redouble national efforts to boost the “blue economy,” creating jobs and opportunity in industries that restore and protect the health and vitality of our oceans,” she writes.
She warns that, “Climate change, pollution, over-development, overfishing, and other stressors are taking a massive toll. In many regions, the cumulative impacts of these stresses are changing entire ecosystems,” citing coral bleaching on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and toxic algal blooms off Florida as two examples.
Still, she goes on to lay out a range of solutions she promises to act on if elected President including growing the “Blue Economy,” supporting coastal adaptation to climate change, ending international pirate fishing (that includes massive shark fining), expanding sustainable and transparent U.S. fishing and seafood practices and ratifying the Law of the Seas Convention that’s been held up by the U.S. Senate for over 20 years.
The Ocean leaders who signed the letter that she responded to include CEOs of seafood, recreational and other businesses, directors of major marine science labs, aquariums and diving organizations, well known ocean explorers, authors, artists, ocean conservationists, members of Congress and former heads of the EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For a look at the letter go to https://bluefront.org/articles/press-release-ocean-leaders/
As the initiator of this letter I was heartened to see Secretary Clinton commit to restoring the blue in our red, white and blue. The hope is that her artfully written but still substantial pledges on behalf of our public seas will spark a broader public discussion on the state of the ocean and what every citizens can do to turn the tide both during and after the campaign season. The Ocean Leadership letter was also forwarded to the Republican candidate Mr. Donald Trump and we hope to soon receive a response from him in terms of what he would plan to do for our coasts, ocean and the communities, both human and wild, that depend on them.
To read the complete letter from Hillary Rodham Clinton please follow this link.