Newport, Rhode Island - November 30, 2009 - Sailors for the Sea, the only ocean conservation group focused on the sailing and boating community, earlier this month joined forces with Blue Climate Solutions, a project of The Ocean Foundation, in an effort to promote marine conservation through a sign-on letter campaign.
The letter advocates for carbon offsets for marine conservation efforts and offers sound suggestions that the U.S. government support:
- The option for marine conservation solutions to climate change [to be considered] in national climate change legislation and international climate change treaties
- Marine science research that further explores natural ocean carbon solutions
Co-founder of Sailors for the Sea and advisor to The Ocean Foundation, David Rockefeller, Jr. explaining his support for the letter says, "As scientists continue to study the causes of excess carbon, it is clear that our oceans are as much the victim of CO2 as our lakes were the victim of acid rain. What is not in doubt is that human ingenuity can respond in ways that mitigate the negative impacts of excess carbon while we strive to reduce our own substantial contributions of CO2 into the air and waters of our planet."
Drafted by the Blue Climate Solutions, the sign-on letter is a collaboration among various ocean and marine health and conservation groups aimed at raising awareness of the fragility of the world's oceans and the need for effective solutions and marine science research to mitigate additional future negative impact on the oceans.
Dr. Sylvia Earle, a well-respected oceanographer and conservationist, endorsed the effort as the first scientist to sign-on. In addition to securing Dr. Earle's support, the campaign references the UNEP's Blue Carbon Report (October, 2009) which illustrates the carbon capturing potential of coastal and marine ecosystems, such as mangroves, swamps, seagrass beds and salt marshes (available at: http://www.grida.no/publications/rr/blue-carbon/).
Carbon offsets are a major feature in climate change legislation pending in Congress and expected to produce the world's largest single carbon market (worth an estimated $10B/year), the potential to advance marine conservation is enormous. These offsets are currently targeted for forestry conservation projects. The sign-on campaign supporters strongly believe that given the critical role oceans and coastal ecosystems play in the global carbon cycle, directing some of those funds toward marine conservation will have dramatic impact on effecting change - for the better.
Additional supporting materials are available:
Blue Carbon Report (UNEP)
Carbon Offsets: The Next Multibillion-dollar Energy Industry:
Tropical Forest Conservation in Waxman-Markey
About Sailors for the Sea
Founded in 2004, Sailors for the Sea is a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers the boating community to protect and restore our oceans and coastal waters. For more information on or to participate in any of the Sailors for the Sea programs, or to become a member and support the organization, visit www.sailorsforthesea.org.