Act Now to Protect Ocean Ecosystems!

Two blue-ribbon commissions say our oceans are in trouble.  Globally, the majority of fish populations are overexploited, runoff pollution is creating vast dead zones, and global warming is causing the death of corals. 

Now the Bush Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has proposed a rule that would gut the environmental review process for fishery management actions and limit the public’s right to participate in those decisions. 

Tell NMFS to go back to the drawing board!  Our oceans deserve better.

Subject: MSA Environmental Review Procedures

Dear Director Risenhoover,

I'm deeply concerned about the impact of your agency's fishery management decisions on ocean ecosystems. I believe that strong environmental review is critical to the health of our oceans. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has made it possible to protect thousands of square miles of deep sea coral formations, save the lives of endangered sea turtles, begin rebuilding of depleted fish populations and facilitate meaningful public participation in fisheries management.

Unfortunately your agency's proposed NEPA rule hands over too much authority to fishery management councils that have a long history of poor management, significantly limits the public's ability to participate in fishery management decisions, and allows fishery managers to make decisions without fully considering the impacts on marine ecosystems including sea turtles, seals, corals and other precious ocean life.

Please withdraw this flawed NEPA proposal and craft a new one that will ensure protection of our ocean ecosystems. Our oceans are in trouble. I've seen in my own life how decades of mismanagement have degraded the oceans. It's time for our nation's fisheries managers to make better decisions by fully understanding the consequences of fishing on marine ecosystems.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


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