The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Oregon Legislature Approves State's First Network of Marine Reserves
Our Ocean, a statewide coalition of Oregon conservationists, scientists, ocean users, local and businesses leaders expressed support on Feb .21 for the state legislature’s action to designate three marine reserves and protected areas off Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, and Cape Perpetua.
Two other marine reserves were implemented in January, at Redfish Rocks near Port Orford and Otter Rock by Depoe Bay. Combining those with the three new sites would create an initial network of marine reserves and protected areas off the Oregon coast. Once the new law is signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber and enacted, these designations will serve as “ecological savings accounts” and provide places for plants and animals to spawn and thrive.
“This action recognizes the value and pride that Oregonians have for our ocean,” said Susan Allen, manager at the Pew Environment Group and director of Our Ocean. “Safeguarding coastal waters preserves their beauty and bounty for us and our children.” Our Ocean represents more than 250,000 people from a diverse group of organizations including the Oregon AFL-CIO, Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, and the Oregon Business Association.
This designation honors the efforts by volunteers and the consensus building accomplished by coastal communities to create a suite of recommendations that balance the ecological and economic needs of each site individually, and the system collectively. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reported ocean stakeholders invested more than 25,000 hours of volunteer time in 2010 alone.
“Marine reserves around the world have demonstrated the value that protecting ocean habitats can have for building resilient local economies and coastal ecosystems,” said Robin Hartmann, Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) member and ocean program director of the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition. “This bill makes it possible to put into place a statewide flagship program that supports an enriched and productive nearshore ocean.”
“The sum total of all no-take areas in Oregon’s ocean will represent just roughly 3 percent of our state’s 362-mile coastline now,” said Paul Engelmeyer, manager of the Audubon Ten Mile Creek Sanctuary and OPAC member. “Yet combined with neighboring protected areas that make up an additional 5.7 percent of our nearshore habitats, these designations can bolster the health of the ocean and, by extension, our ability to harvest ocean resources more sustainably. We believe this legislation has potential to create a coastal legacy that our children will enjoy for many generations.”
For more information, click here.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
In 2018, there were about 5 million electric cars on the road globally. It sounds like a large number, but with well over a billion cars worldwide, electric vehicles are still only a small percentage.
By Byron Reeves, Nilam Ram and Thomas N. Robinson
There's a lot of talk about digital media. Increasing screen time has created worries about media's impacts on democracy, addiction, depression, relationships, learning, health, privacy and much more. The effects are frequently assumed to be huge, even apocalyptic.
By Raphael Tsavkko Garcia
Rarely has something so precious fallen into such unsafe hands. Since Jair Bolsonaro took the Brazilian presidency in 2019, the Amazon, which makes up 10 percent of our planet's biodiversity and absorbs an estimated 5 percent of global carbon emissions, has been hit with a record number of fires and unprecedented deforestation.
Microsoft announced ambitious new plans to become carbon negative by 2030 and then go one step further and remove by 2050 all the carbon it has emitted since the company was founded in 1975, according to a company press release.