Thursday, April 2, 2009

Omnibus Land Act: taking steps to learn more about the oceans

As we have often heard, mankind knows more about the backside of the moon than it does about the oceans on our own planet. There's so much that we don't know, so many incredible secrets to be uncovered - many of which can prove to be beneficial to our existence, present and future.

So, when legislation is based with the purpose of learning more about the oceans, that's always a good thing. The recent signing of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act puts forth provisions to study the oceans to learn more about the effects of global warming and industrial influence. Specifically there are four:

The Ocean and Coastal Exploration and NOAA Act authorizes the National Ocean Exploration Program, National Undersea Research Program, and the Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping Program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to increase scientific knowledge for the management, use and preservation of oceanic, coastal and Great Lake resources.

The Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act authorizes the establishment of an integrated system of coastal and ocean observations for the nation's coasts, oceans and Great Lakes.

The Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act authorizes a coordinated federal research program on ocean acidification.

The Coastal and Estuarine Land Protection Act authorizes funding for a program to protect important coastal and estuarine areas that have significant conservation, recreation, ecological, historical, aesthetic, or watershed protection values, and that are threatened by conversion to other uses.

It's very simple: if we want to save it, we need to know what to save and how to save. When you have the knowledge then the debate becomes secondary to the need for action.

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