Saturday, November 14, 2009

Blue Climate Solutions: Promoting Marine Conservation

http://www.aroundtheamericas.org/story/Crew+Log+122+-+At+Sea,+10+34N,+057+45W

Squall

From Ocean Watch Crew Log 122 - At Sea, 10 34N, 057 45W

Weekend Update (Part One) by McCormick and Schrader Saturday, November 14, 2009

Blue Climate Solutions: Promoting Marine Conservation

Prior to arriving in San Juan, during our stop in Miami Ocean Watch was part of an open house organized by our port host, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami. Among the folks we met there was Steven Lutz of a group called Blue Climate Solutions, A Project of The Ocean Foundation.

Last week, the crew of Ocean Watch joined our colleagues at Sailors for the Sea and forty-eight other organization as signatories in letters from Blue Climate Solutions to President Obama and the U.S. Senate to garner support for: 1) the option for marine conservation solutions to climate change to be considered in national climate change legislation and international climate change treaties and 2) marine science research that further explores natural ocean carbon solutions.

In a letter to the boat last week, Steven wrote:
"I am pleased to inform you that eminent oceanographer and conservationist, Dr. Silvia Earle, has endorsed this effort as the first scientist to sign on.

"You may be aware that UNEP released its Blue Carbon report last month, which illustrates the carbon capturing potential of coastal and marine ecosystems, such as mangrove swamps, seagrass beds and salt marshes (available at www.grida.no/publications/rr/blue-carbon).

"As 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 $10 billion per year), the potential to advance marine conservation is fantastic. These offset areas currently targeted for forestry conservation projects. Given the critical role our oceans and coastal ecosystems play in the global carbon cycle, why not some of those $$$ for marine conservation efforts?

"Please note that the word ‘natural' is highlighted in the letters to differentiate this option from geo-engineering. Additionally, natural solutions which store or sequester carbon in forms other than dissolved will NOT enhance ocean acidification (ocean acidification occurs when carbon remains free in its dissolved forms in the water)."

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