President Obama's bold inaugural speech gave me hope for the future of our oceans and coasts. The future of our oceans and coasts are at a state of influx and should continue to be a concern for the Obama Administration. As almost half of the nation's population lives on a coast, and millions of people from all over the world visit our coasts, additional policies must be put in place to conserve and protect our oceans and coasts.
|Source: Huffington Post|
Did you know that one in six jobs is marine related and that over 1/3 of the gross domestic product (GDP) originates in coastal areas? Nearly eighty percent of the nation's economy is supported in coastal states and coastal states together produce a GDP that is bigger than that of any single country in the world. These are just some of the reasons why it is important to protect our oceans and coasts.
During his first term as President, Barack Obama established the National Ocean Policy by Executive Order. He directed funding toward the Gulf Coast after the Deepwater Horizon Spill in order to restore communities and fisheries. While not everyone agreed with his actions, at least it is a starting point for conservation.
So what is Obama doing this term? With one term under his belt he again he has brought up the topics of climate change and sustainable energy. He seems more serious this time, but only time will tell. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, mankind has been releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The oceans absorb some of this carbon dioxide, but when this occurs it changes the chemistry of the oceans. The more acidic the oceans become the more impacts to fishing, tourism, and marine food webs. The increase in carbon dioxide raises temperatures and creates a low pH environment in the oceans, called ocean acidification. I am elated that Obama is still pursuing climate change. We need a leader on this front because an increase in temperature not only affects weather, but it is affecting marine life. I love to scuba dive and see the vibrant life that lives in our magnificent oceans. I want future generations to experience the wonder and awe in the deep blue. I believe Obama wants to not only protect our resources for their beauty, but also because if they aren't protected now food, jobs, and our livelihood will be lost.
Now President Obama isn’t harnessing our natural resources just for energy, but he is also advocating these topics for future generations. Everyone may not agree on where these issues are going, but at least they are being talked about. We look forward to hearing what your hope for the Obama Administration and the oceans are.