The Blog Aquatic » Emily Woglom http://blog.oceanconservancy.org News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:32:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Divers and Ocean Advocates Across the Country Speak Out for NEO, NOP http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/11/27/divers-and-ocean-advocates-across-the-country-speak-out-for-neo-nop/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/11/27/divers-and-ocean-advocates-across-the-country-speak-out-for-neo-nop/#comments Wed, 27 Nov 2013 14:57:09 +0000 Emily Woglom http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=7011

Photo credit: Heal The Bay flickr page

Recently, I told you about the opportunity that Congress now has to create a National Endowment for the Oceans (NEO) and safeguard the existing National Ocean Policy (NOP). The heat is on, as the members of Congress that will decide the fate of these provisions in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) convened last week. Since then, the chorus of voices calling for Congress to take these vital steps to protect our ocean has grown exponentially.

More than 74 diving groups, dive shops and individual divers – including prominent figures such as Sylvia Earle and Ocean Conservancy Board Member Philippe Cousteau – sent a letter to the WRDA conferees today. Here’s an excerpt:

“As divers, we see firsthand the incredible beauty and, too often, the increasing burden our oceans face.… The WRDA conference will consider two provisions that significantly impact our nation’s oceans and coasts and the economies that rely on them. We support the Senate-passed National Endowment for the Oceans, which would help improve ocean health and maximize the economic benefits these resources provide our nation. We oppose the House-passed Flores rider, which would place damaging restrictions on the use of common-sense ocean management tools like ocean planning and ecosystem-based management found in our National Ocean Policy. To maximize the benefits of a healthy ocean and its vibrant economy, we urge you to include the NEO provision and strike the Flores rider from WRDA.”


These divers share a common belief that everyone benefits from a healthy and productive ocean. Few people witness the threats that our ocean faces more intimately than divers do every time they go below the surface. From ocean acidification’s effect on corals and shellfish to the staggering scope of the marine debris problem to the shifting of marine life due to rising ocean temperatures, divers see these impacts firsthand. They know that we badly need the smart ocean-use planning that the NOP facilitates and the funding for critical ocean research and restoration that the NEO would provide.

The diving community’s letter joins another letter sent to the WRDA conferees last week from Ocean Conservancy and more than 200 organizations and individuals from around the nation stressing the need for the conference committee to get this bill right.

We’ll continue to monitor the progress of WRDA as the conference committee meets in the coming days and weeks, but it’ll take a concerted effort from ocean advocates across the country to ensure that Congress establishes NEO and stands strong in supporting the NOP. You can add your voice to the hundreds who have already weighed in here.

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When Did Ocean Education Get Political? http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/06/28/when-did-ocean-education-get-political/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/06/28/when-did-ocean-education-get-political/#comments Thu, 28 Jun 2012 13:57:43 +0000 Guest Blogger http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=1335 Credit: milagro.cabq.gov

Credit: milagro.cabq.gov

Partnering with zoos, aquariums and museums on ocean education is not exactly what you would call a job-killing initiative or international plot to take over the ocean. And yet, this is how critics have billed the National Ocean Policy.

Under the Policy, government agencies are encouraged to “increase ocean and coastal literacy by expanding the accessibility and use of ocean content in formal and informal educational programming for students.” By teaming up with kid-friendly institutions like aquariums, zoos and museums, agencies like NOAA can provide the latest, cutting-edge ocean science for teachers, students and the general public. But Congressional attacks against the National Ocean Policy might threaten these kinds of non-controversial services – even though most of these services long pre-date the National Ocean Policy itself.

The House Appropriations Committee is currently considering a bill that blocks implementation of the National Ocean Policy. Check out our post from last week when the bill was first put forward.  As we’ve written before, this could affect services that people and businesses have come to rely on.

As our Government Relations Director Emily Woglom said:

“It is unfortunate that critics are playing knee-jerk politics with an ocean policy that’s about saving time, money and the source of livelihood for millions of Americans.  This is about ensuring that our natural resources are used efficiently and effectively so our coastal economies, now and in the future, flourish.

“Attacks on ocean protections are hyperbolic at best, hysterical at worst.  Blocking funding now will jeopardize existing jobs and important services.”

The National Ocean Policy’s approach to protecting our ocean, where coordination and collaboration are key, is simply common sense.

 

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Supporting the Ocean Means Supporting the National Ocean Policy http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/06/20/supporting-the-ocean-means-supporting-the-national-ocean-policy/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/06/20/supporting-the-ocean-means-supporting-the-national-ocean-policy/#comments Wed, 20 Jun 2012 19:37:44 +0000 Guest Blogger http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=1143

How are you spending your first day of summer? We prefer celebrating our ocean--not fighting against it. Credit: Heal the Bay Flickr stream

How are you celebrating the first official day of summer?  Some lawmakers in Washington are doing so by actually fighting against vital protections for our ocean, including the National Ocean Policy.

The National Ocean Policy coordinates the activities of more than 20 federal agencies. Most of these vital services already exist, like preventing and cleaning up ocean trash. Particularly now, with West Coast states’ concerns with tsunami debris, coordination is as important as ever.  This ocean policy is a way to untangle and streamline the web of existing ocean regulations – more than 140 laws – in order to protect coastal communities and the economy.

But some lawmakers continue attempts to block implementation of the National Ocean Policy. Their latest move is to include language barring funds for the National Ocean Policy in the House Interior and Environment Appropriations bill – among other hits to our nation’s environmental protections. This is an extreme move considering the possible implications. Prohibiting the Policy could hinder much of the day-to-day information and services that your states and local communities have come to rely on.

On these latest efforts to block the National Ocean Policy, Ocean Conservancy’s Emily Woglom, director of government relations, said:

“It is unfortunate that critics are playing knee-jerk politics with an ocean policy that’s about saving time, money and the source of livelihood for millions of Americans.  This is about ensuring that our natural resources are used efficiently and effectively so our coastal economies, now and in the future, flourish.

“Attacks on ocean protections are hyperbolic at best, hysterical at worst.  Blocking funding now will jeopardize existing jobs and important services.”

Emily has been spreading the word on how the National Ocean Policy helps both the economy and your local community.  She’s not alone – even the New York Times editorial board weighed in. But if this is the first you’re hearing of the Policy, you’re not alone.

If you support the ocean, you should support the National Ocean Policy. It’s a common sense plan that’s good for the American economy, jobs and communities.

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