LePage Stands on the Wrong Side of History with Monument Opposition

Sep 9, 2015 by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

The Obama Administration is currently considering a proposal to permanently protect key areas of New England’s ocean as the first Marine National Monuments in the Atlantic, including three deep sea canyons and four sea mountains at the southern edge of Georges Bank. CLF is continuing to urge the administration to include the area between Cashes Ledge and Fippinies Ledge (a roughly 500-square-mile area 80 miles off the coast of Maine) in its monument designation.

As my colleague Peter Shelley explains here, Cashes Ledge and the coral canyons and seamounts are unique ecosystems that are critical “living laboratories” for understanding the impacts of climate change on our ocean resources – from warming waters to the increasing acidification of our ocean waters. Permanently protecting the Cashes Ledge Closed Area may also provide one of the last best chances for recovery of overfished species such as Atlantic cod, because the area would become a refuge for highly productive large, older female cod.

Kelp Forest and Cod at Cashes Ledge; 70-miles off the coast of Maine. Photo by Brian Skerry

Kelp Forest and Cod at Cashes Ledge, 80 miles off the coast of Maine. Photo by Brian Skerry

This is a tremendous opportunity to take meaningful action today that will ensure our children and grandchildren will have at least some vestige of our historical New England ocean to work in and experience. Here at CLF, we’re working hard with our partners to explain the nature and scope of what permanent protection would mean through meetings with federal, state, and local leaders, with commercial fishermen and marine businesses, with recreational fishermen, and with our friends and allies in the nonprofit world.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Just last week, at a public event held at the New England Aquarium in Boston, more than 600 people turned out in support of permanent protection of these special places. We’ve been hearing that same kind of support throughout Maine, from Bar Harbor to Kittery.

Disappointing but not surprising has been the response from Maine’s illustrious Governor LePage. While Maine’s Congressional delegation continues to thoughtfully evaluate the proposals for permanent protection, fightin’ Paul LePage came out swinging early – before even knowing the details of the marine monument proposal. Not only does he oppose the idea of permanently protecting the Cashes Ledge area, he opposes the whole idea of National Monuments period. Not surprisingly, this puts the Governor at odds with every President since Teddy Roosevelt, who wrote the Antiquities Act and then invoked the power granted to the President under the Act to permanently protect the Grand Canyon from mining in 1908. Indeed, a century later, the first large Marine National Monuments were established in the Pacific Ocean by George W. Bush.

The Governor’s opposition is not surprising given how fast and loose he has played with the Land for Maine’s Future bond money. The good new is that, by now, many people realize that the sound and fury from Augusta doesn’t signify much. In a recent poll conducted by Maine Biz, when people were asked if they supported the Governor’s opposition to the marine monument idea for Cashes Ledge, more than 2 to 1 they said they did not.

As CLF has been conducting our outreach, we’re finding that the more people understand the fact of this marine monument proposal – including the value of Cashes Ledge as marine habitat for critical species such as cod, halibut, and endangered North Atlantic right whales; its significance as home to the largest coldwater kelp forest on the Eastern seaboard; the lack of any significant commercial activity there for more than a decade; and the potential Cashes Ledge holds in helping us to understand and adapt to the impacts climate change will have on our marine resources – the more they support it.

We hope you will join this rising chorus and help make history by signing our petition in support of the Atlantic’s first marine national monuments. We only have 7 days to make our voices heard before the official public commenting period for this proposal closes. Please don’t wait. Sign our petition today.

Thank you for being a part of history in the making.

Georges Bank on the Habitat Chopping Block

Jun 4, 2015 by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

The New England Fishery Management Council’s (NEFMC) Habitat Committee continues to show complete disregard for habitat protection. Up for consideration at the Committee’s Monday meeting was an industry-introduced proposal to open critical areas of Georges Bank as part of the Omnibus Habitat Amendment. The proposal was originally designed to allow access to the Northern edge of Georges Bank for scalloping.

A sea scallop and tunicate colonies encrusting pebble gravel habitat on Northern Georges Bank. Photo by USGS.

A sea scallop and tunicate colonies encrusting pebble gravel habitat on Northern Georges Bank. Photo by USGS.

The discussion that played out reinforced the notion that the management body tasked with protecting essential fish habitat in New England is driven instead by short-term industry interests and willing to sacrifice important ecological areas in order to accommodate fishing interests.

The Habitat Committee ultimately voted to the full Council as its preferred alternative for the Georges Bank area a revised and further weakened version of the industry’s proposal, which establishes two habitat closures along the southern edge (a western and eastern area) closed to mobile-bottom tending gear and a “mortality closure” over the scallop and vulnerable habitat rich northern edge. A mortality closure can be opened at the discretion of the Council and NMFS when the population of fish that it was intended to protect no longer need such catch protections

When a commenter pointed out to the Committee that the “mortality closure” comprised 80% gravel and cobble bottom habitat – some of the most vulnerable, high quality essential fish habitat according to NEFMC’s own data – the Committee moved quickly to conjure up a new name for the area. Sadly, no wordsmithing could disguise the meaning of intent of the Committee to ensure that damaging scallop dredges would gain access to this most vulnerable of habitats. In a move that again directly contradicted the Council’s own science, the Committee leapt to relocate the western habitat protected area from a region comprised mostly of cobble and gravel bottom to one dominated by sand. The Council has repeatedly taken the position in this years-long process that their science indicates that sandy bottom on Georges Bank has among the lowest values as essential fish habitat.

With this as preferred alternative going into the June full Council meeting, Georges Bank faces a drastic reduction in overall protected habitat area, rolling back decades of habitat recovery in some of the areas now proposed to be wide open to all fishing gears. Disregarding its own science accumulated over the innumerable years this amendment has been underway, the Council seems positioned to cash in its habitat protected areas in favor of short term economic gain, while risking long term viability of New England’s fishing future.

The Council meets in the third week of June to finalize its votes on the Omnibus Habitat Amendment. After the June vote, the Council will submit its proposed amendment to NOAA for final approval or disapproval. At this point, the public will have the opportunity to weigh in with the agency about how the Omnibus Habitat Amendment moves ocean habitat protections backwards and endangers the future of our fisheries and the communities that depend on them.

It’s Possible

Apr 10, 2015 by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

A walk along Boston Harbor today reveals a waterfront that’s both beautiful and vibrant. Water taxis and sailboats skim its waters; tourists and locals stroll along its shores; fishermen catch striped bass right off the docks; and waterside restaurants brighten the evening.

It’s hard to believe that, barely a generation ago, this same harbor was in crisis, a dirty and rancid stew of raw sewage and toxic pollution. Back then, it was deemed the problem too big, too dirty, too impossible to solve. No one wanted to step up and do anything about it. But, rather than back down from this challenge, we at CLF declared we were going to take back Boston Harbor from the polluters.

And we did.

Cleaning up Boston Harbor is just one of the seemingly impossible challenges CLF has taken on – and won.

Thanks to the support of people like you, the remarkable transformation of Boston Harbor is just one of the seemingly impossible challenges CLF has taken on – and won – in our nearly 50-year history.

It was really kind of outrageous at the time that our small band of lawyers and policy advocates took on both the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Environmental Protection Agency – and won. No one then could have predicted that this was going to be a $4.5 billion, generational effort to rebuild metropolitan Boston’s entire water, sewer, and stormwater systems – or that our efforts to ensure clean water drains into Boston Harbor would still be ongoing today.

You can’t deny the results. Today, Boston Harbor is swimmable and fishable. Boston now has a world-class water and sewer authority and a National Park celebrating the Boston Harbor Islands. Billions of dollars were invested in real estate, producing thousands of jobs around the harbor in the process. And Boston Harbor now has its own watchdog – Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, a group CLF helped form to carry our vigilance forward.

While CLF was just the point of the spear that made all of this happen, it was a very sharp point directed very strategically.

Boston Harbor, iconic though it is, was not the first time CLF had taken on a seemingly impossible challenge. And it certainly wasn’t the last. Oil and gas drilling on Georges Bank? Stopped. A four-lane highway through Franconia Notch? Blocked. A destructive dam on the Penobscot River? Defeated. Big coal in Massachusetts? Shutting down. The largest landfill in Rhode Island flouting the Clean Air Act? Called to account. Pollution choking Lake Champlain? Getting cleaned up for the benefit of all.

And that’s the short list.

Now, today, in 2015, we are facing the defining challenge of our age – climate change. It’s bigger and more complex than anything we’ve tackled before, and it’s going to touch everything we all hold dear about New England: our communities, our environment, and our livelihoods.

But it’s not an impossible challenge, despite inaction and denial at so many levels of our government. Yes, we need international and national leadership on climate change, but let’s be clear: The real solutions are going to be forged at the state and regional levels and that’s where CLF shines. This is CLF’s moment.

Dealing with climate change is going to take every tool in our toolbox, every ounce of expertise we have, every innovative idea we can generate, and every ally we can muster. It won’t be easy, and I would be misleading you if I didn’t note that it’s already too late to head off some of the climate impacts New England will experience.

But, frankly, it’s when we’re told that a challenge can’t be overcome that we are at our most bold, our most creative, and our most tenacious. I know – because in my 30 years with CLF, I’ve seen us surmount the impossible time and time again.

What really keeps us moving forward, tackling New England’s biggest environmental challenges, is our commitment to all of you – and to people and communities large and small across New England. For nearly 50 years, people like you have been our critical partners in what’s possible. You have helped CLF close polluting power plants, clean up New England’s air and water, bolster the health of our oceans, and boost the vitality of our communities.

You are helping New England thrive – for people today and for future generations tomorrow. We’re honored to have you by our side and thank you for your commitment to making a difference.

This April, we’re seeking to raise $25,000 toward our efforts to solve New England’s seemingly impossible environmental challenges – ensuring clean air and clean water, healthy oceans and healthy communities for all. Please give, now, as generously as you can, to help us reach this goal.







CLF Calls to Shut Down New England Cod Fishery

Jan 31, 2013 by  | Bio |  3 Comment »

Yesterday the story of New England’s cod fishery took another tragic turn when the New England Fishery Management Council voted to drastically cut catch limits for New England’s two cod stocks—Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank cod—by 77 and 61 percent, respectively.

The Council’s action follows months of scientific debate on appropriate catch limits for cod. Recent assessments showed stocks at the lowest levels ever recorded and declining rapidly:

  • Georges Bank cod biomass is at just 7% of healthy, sustainable levels.
  • Gulf of Maine cod biomass is at 13-18% of healthy, sustainable levels.
  • The last better-than-average year for young Georges Bank cod production was 1991.
  • The amount of younger fish becoming available for fishing, known as recruitment, has been at the lowest estimated levels ever for the last five years running.

Confirming this dismal outlook, fishermen have been unable to find enough cod to even come close to filling their small quotas. The fish just aren’t there any more.

Despite this grim outlook, some in the industry asked for interim measures that would allow devastating overfishing to continue for yet another year, and the Massachusetts fisheries agency representative on the Council inexplicably asked for catch levels that were higher than the highest recommendations from scientists. NOAA regional administrator John Bullard rejected these efforts as legally and biologically unjustifiable.

Bullard told the Council yesterday that the “day of reckoning” for the fishery had arrived and that further management denial about the true state of the stocks could not be sanctioned. In this context, the Council chose to cut the catch – even in the face of industry opposition.

But the action to cut cod quota did not go far enough. The options implemented by the Council are the least aggressive cuts allowable by law, and under some assessments they still authorize overfishing. They push the limits of scientific advice and put the short-term economic interests over the long-term health of New England’s cod fishery and the viability of a whole generation of groundfishermen. Years of similarly short-sighted decision-making have caused the current biological disaster.

The Council unanimously rejected a motion to shut down the cod fishery entirely—an option that the NMFS Regional Director labeled as irresponsible, but one that may be the only chance for the recovery of New England’s cod stocks.

Canada took similar action to shut down its cod fishery in 1992, when its stocks were in a state remarkably similar to New England’s current disaster. Even their action in retrospect was too little and too late to avert a social and economic calamity; tens of thousands of people were put out of work, and cod stocks have still not fully recovered.

Unlike Canada, however, New England fishing communities are unlikely to see massive disaster relief funds. The New England Fishery Management Council now owns this problem and will bear full responsibility for the long term biological and socio-economic  consequences of their decision. While CLF hopes that the Council’s gamble is not reckless, decades of bad Council bets in the past and the current scientific advice do not bode well. Time will tell.

Now is not the time for denial. It is not the time for timid decisions and taking unconscionable risks. It is time to make the painful, necessary steps towards a better future for fishing in New England. Rather than arguing over the scraps left after decades of mismanagement, we should shut the cod fishery down and protect whatever cod are left.


Providing Ocean Beauty, Health, and Wealth Demands NOAA Leadership

Oct 12, 2012 by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Cod at Cashes Ledge. Copyright Brian Skerry.
Cod swim through the kelp forest on Cashes Ledge


The beauty, health, and wealth provided by the productivity of New England’s ocean is illustrated in the diversity of ocean and coastal habitat found in the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank, southern New England waters, and the far edge of the Outer Continental Shelf. New England’s ocean habitats provide a huge economic service, but only if the underlying ecological foundation is healthy and sustained. Pushing our ocean waters to produce more fish and seafood than is sustainable can lead to a severe decline in goods and services – as we are seeing with the most recent groundfish depletion crisis – or even to an unrecoverable collapse as has happened in eastern Canada.

There are really two major components to a healthy ocean: don’t take out too much in the way of fish and other living resources and don’t put in too much in the way of runoff, nutrients, carbon dioxide, and other pollutants. In New England’s celebrated cod and groundfish fishery we have clearly been taking out too much through decades of overfishing. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), at the request of the New England Fishery Management Council, has for years taken the riskiest possible approach to managing fish stocks. NOAA and the Fishery Management Council have set catch limits at the highest levels allowed by law and then shown great surprise when fish stocks fail to recover.

We need NOAA to show proactive leadership by ensuring a more precautionary approach to setting annual catch limits and to rebuilding fish populations. Decades of unsustainable catch levels should not continue to plague New England’s fisheries or our ocean’s health.

The other problem of overfishing is that the methods used to catch fish have gotten more destructive. Since the development of more powerful engines and sonar during World War II, fishing vessels can go farther out to sea, fish in deeper water, and drag heavier bottom trawls. These inventions not only catch a lot more fish, but also cause more damage to ocean bottom habitat – the kelp beds, boulders and rocky fields, tube worms, anemones, sponges, corals, and mussel beds which serve as nurseries and spawning areas. Over decades we are left with cumulative impacts to large areas of New England’s ocean habitat.

This makes the remaining special areas such as Cashes Ledge even more important as a place where small fish can grow and become large enough to reproduce.

In New England, NOAA is headed in reverse on its legal responsibility and the ecological necessity to further protect juvenile groundfish in their nursery grounds. The commercial fishing industry, led by big trawlers, has argued for opening these nursery grounds. Areas of sea bottom that provide essential fish habitat must be protected from destructive fishing practices like trawling and dredging.  For nearly a decade regional fishery managers have failed to take serious action to protect essential fish habitat.  It’s time to make habitat conservation a priority.

The Conservation Law Foundation, our conservation partners, marine scientists, fishermen, and ocean users agree that permanent habitat protection is needed for Cashes Ledge and other special places.

Join our statement to NOAA asking for their leadership. Click here to urge NOAA to protect our ocean beauty, health, and wealth.


A Shout-Out to Phish Phans Who Supported CLF at Comcast Center

Jun 24, 2010 by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Conservation Law Foundation gives a hearty round of grateful applause to Phish, the band’s excellent WaterWheel Foundation team, and the band’s fans!  A huge thanks to Beth Montuori-Rowles and Matthew Beck in particular for doing what you do to facilitate Phish’s amazing support for hundreds of charitable organizations throughout the country including supporting CLF back home in Vermont.  The band has provided incredible support to CLF over the years through its charitable giving foundation including several opportunities to talk to phans at the WaterWheel Foundation tables at concerts in New England and New York.

Last night, an intrepid team of CLF’ers was given the opportunity to talk about CLF’s work at the band’s local concert at the Comcast Center, in Mansfield, Massachusetts (for old schoolers like me a/k/a Great Woods).  The sold out show was full of energized and interested folks who were eager to hear about CLF’s work.  Our contacts ranged from high school students, a local watershed association scientist, a former CLF intern (hey Danica!), CLF members, Page McConnell’s very nice aunt and uncle, small business owners, union workers, environmental professionals, an organic chocolate maker, and lots of folks who just wanted to find out more about CLF and WaterWheel.

We took the opportunity to talk about our current effort to stop offshore oil drilling off of the coast of New England.  Yes folks, that’s right, for the first time in decades, the moratorium on oil exploration on George’s Bank — one of the world’s most productive marine ecosystems and just off of our coast — expired this year and hasn’t been reinstated.  It should be a no-brainer to reinstate the prohibition given the current disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond.  I have heard that there is a risk of oil hitting our coasts even from the Gulf oil disaster, let alone drilling miles away fr0m our own shores.  Well, not so fast!  Congress and President Obama have not renewed the moratorium on drilling along the New England coastline and we need them to act now.

So, CLF and WaterWheel urged phans to show their concerns by signing a petition to President Obama urging him, and Congress to act quickly to renew the drilling moratorium.  We are excited to report that hundreds of concert-goers signed on to make their voices heard.  There is still time to sign the petition on CLF’s webpage at http://www.clf.org— just hit the take action tab at the top of the page and select Prevent an Oil Disaster in New England. We also let folks know that CLF has played a big role in making sure that the Cape Wind windfarm off of Cape Cod and Nantucket was approved this past spring.

Of course, true to form, the music was fantastic as well.  There is nothing like a Phish show for amazing musicianship and an incredible light show.  Many thanks to Jon Fishman, Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, and Page McConnell for years of amazing music, wonderful charitable hearts, and a heck of a lot of F-U-N!!!  Thanks again.

Moratorium Extended on Drilling in Georges Bank: CLF's Peter Shelley Responds

May 13, 2010 by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

Today, Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter extended a moratorium on oil and gas drilling on Georges Bank for another three years, citing the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico as a factor in his decision. Peter Shelley, CLF’s vice president and director of its Massachusetts Advocacy Center, responds:

“For decades, CLF has advocated for the full protection of Georges Bank from the hazards of oil and gas drilling. We are pleased that Nova Scotia Premier Dexter has decided to extend the moratorium on the Canadian side of the border and we applaud his decision. The need to protect the incredible richness of marine life and to make this area available to sustainable fishing far outweigh the risks of catastrophic pollution and habitat degradation caused by oil drilling.”

“CLF believes it is time for a permanent ban on oil and gas drilling on Georges Bank and urges both the Canadian and United States governments to act to do so. There is no more need for study and delay. Georges Bank is an area of international importance and deserves permanent protection from oil drilling now.”

Toxic waves create change

May 7, 2010 by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

The political landscape seems to be shifting in response to BP’s oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. An overnight poll of Florida residents shows a remarkable shift in public opinion on the value of oil drilling off of their coast. Are these results at all surprising since Floridians are seeing the approaching slick to their heralded beaches? Let’s put it in the context of the previous Florida oil storm, which came in the manner of a multi-million dollar lobbying onslaught by a secret group of out-of-state oil companies in late 2008 and through 2009. This secret cabal was so careful about hiding their indentities that their names are still unknown to Florida citizens despite creating a debate that was on the front pages for months. What a difference an exploding oil platform makes.  Now, the Democrats in the state legislature are urging a vote for a state constitutional amendment to ban offshore oil drilling.  Gov. Crist is leaning their way.

On the Left Coast, the Governator had a more direct conversion and made one of the more prescient observations since the Great BP Gulf Eruption. “Why would we want to take on that kind of risk?,” he asks. “Why indeed?,” responds Rep. John Garamendi who wasted no time in putting his money where his mouth is by introducing federal legislation to permanently ban new oil and gas drilling along the entire west coast. Garamendi won a special election this spring and may be a freshman, but he’s been around the block and knows his oil. He served as deputy secretary of the Department of Interior during the Clinton administration and as Lieutenant Governor of California where he nixed the silly drilling for cash ploy by Plains Exploration and Production oil company.

Back on the Jersey Shore long-time drilling opponents Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, along with Congressman Frank Pallone, are looking at similar legislation to ban drilling in the mid-Atlantic region. Our own New England environmental champions Rep. Ed Markey and Sen. John Kerry were never shy about protecting our beloved Georges Bank and Stellwagen Bank from drilling even at the peak of the Bush era clamor to eliminate the 20 year moratorium.  Unfortunately, the final legislation was never passed and New England’s ocean is still one bad administrative decision away from a return to the failed drilling proposals of the past. The politics of drilling flow like the motion of the ocean itself with the fate of the K-(G)-L climate legislation. Drilling, billions for nukes, a legislated override of a Supreme Court decision to allow regulation of climate pollution and promises, promises to herd in a stray Republican vote are all now up in the air. Sen. Kerry says the proposed legislation will be unveiled on Wednesday. Here’s hoping the proposed oil drilling provisions in that bill have been subject to the same moment of clarity that have awakened millions of Americans. We need climate protection legislation without adding to the oil-carbon disaster.

Imagine Vermont Covered in Oil

Sep 29, 2009 by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

On August 21st, the Thai based energy company PTTEP announced that a “crude oil gas leak incident occurred” in the Timor Sea about 155 miles northwest of Western Australia.  The energy company’s press released continued that “the size of the spill is not known.  Aproximately 40 barrels of oil were discharged from the wellhead in the initial incident.”  In the ensuing month, it has become clear that this oil spill is much more serious than initially thought:

Aerial Photo of the oil spill from the drilling platform in the Timor Sea (Source: SkyTruth)

Aerial Photo of the oil spill from the drilling platform in the Timor Sea (Source: SkyTruth)

  1. As of September 25th, photos from NASA satellites document that the oil slicks and sheen from the spill covered 9,870 square miles, an area even bigger than the state of Vermont.  Part of the oil sheen has been moving perilously close to the Cartier Island Marine Reserve.
  2. According to conservative estimates by the World Wildlife Fund, the rig has been leaking 400 barrels a day — over 14,000 barrels since late August.  That equates to about 600,000 gallons of oil.
  3. When the spill was first reported, the government of Australia predicted it would take 7 weeks to clean up.   Already, it has been 5 weeks and the spill isn’t contained.

This devastating spill may be a world away but US ocean waters, including Georges Bank and the rest of the Gulf of Maine, are also at risk because they no longer are protected from the devastating impacts of oil and gas extraction. As a parting gift before leaving office, President Bush lifted the Presidential Moratorium on drilling for oil and natural gas on the Outer Continental Shelf that had been in place since 1990.  On September 30, 2008, Congress followed suit and lifted a longstanding legislative ban on offshore oil and gas leasing as part of a large government operations appropriations bill.  As a result, important habitat in the Gulf of Maine, including Georges Bank — one of the world’s premier fishing grounds — is at risk of industrial scale fossil fuel energy development.

As the Saudi oil fields are tapped out, there is increased pressure to drill in remote areas of the ocean.  For example, at the beginning of September, BP announced a “giant oil discovery” 35,055 feet below the Gulf of Mexico seafloor, which itself is already 4,132 feet below the surface of the ocean.  In an ironic twist of fate, just as the ocean is beginning to bear the brunt of the impacts of climate change (see my earlier blog post on ocean acidification), oil companies are stepping up efforts to locate and drill for oil and gas under the seafloor.

Clearly we need energy — but how do we design a sustainable, climate neutral ocean energy solution that will not put important marine wildlife, habitat and ecosystems at risk? As Greg Watson, then a VP at the Mass Technology Collaborative, noted, New England (and Massachusetts in particular) is “the ‘Saudi Arabia of Wind.'” Of course, we need to responsibly tap this renewable resource — we can’t build wind farms wholesale across the region just because there is a lot of wind on the ocean.  Rather, we need to engage in a thorough marine spatial planning process whereby different human uses and ecological resources are identified and mapped and responsible renewable energy development is sited in a way that doesn’t create unreasonable impacts on those activities or natural resources.  Massachusetts is in the process of doing just that — and has released the first in the nation Draft Ocean Management Plan.  In Maine, the governor appointed an Ocean Energy Task Force to evaluate how to develop offshore renewable energy.  Rhode Island is working on an Ocean Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) in part to promote offshore renewable energy development.  Finally, at the federal level, President Obama issued an Executive Memorandum calling for a national ocean policy and marine spatial planning  framework.  CLF is working on all of these issues.

Imagine if all of Vermont were covered in an oil spill.  Well it has been over a month and an equally large spill in the Timor Sea hasn’t been contained.  Oil and gas drilling is still a risky business and, thanks to former President Bush and Congress, these projects are allowable in US ocean waters.  A concerted effort is needed to make oil and gas drilling old news.  We need to usher in a new era of responsible, climate friendly, renewable ocean energy development.  Help CLF make this a reality!

What can you do to help promote responsible marine renewable energy Development?

  1. Sign the CLF Ocean Petition
  2. Learn more about the Massachusetts Draft Ocean Management Plan, Maine Ocean Energy Task Force, Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan and the National Ocean Policy and Marine Spatial Framework.
  3. Learn more about the Timor Sea Spill
Satellite Image of the oil spill in the Timor Sea.  Northwest Australia is in the lower right hand corner of the photo (Source: SkyTruth)

Satellite Image of the oil spill in the Timor Sea. Northwest Australia is in the lower right hand corner of the photo (Source: SkyTruth)