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Republicans In Congress Vote To Trash National Ocean Policy

One month ago, it was World Oceans Day, a day to celebrate and honor the oceans, but also a day for people to dedicate themselves to protecting the oceans from ecological harm. The message of World Oceans Day is of increasing importance with every passing year, as marine ecosystems suffer growing damage from the consequences of poorly planned human activities. Overfishing, pollution, offshore drilling and ocean acidification are threatening the survival of many individual species, as well as reducing marine biodiversity overall. The grave condition of marine ecosystems was the impetus for the development of a National Ocean Policy, a single vision around which to coordinate action across the federal government to deal with the environmental crisis in our planet’s seas.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, however, don’t seem to have understood the point of World Oceans Day, or to have recognized the importance of the National Ocean Policy. Yesterday, all but 5 Republican members of the House of Representatives voted to defend a measure in H.R. 2822, an appropriations bill for the Department of the Interior, that outlaws the use of any funds to support “ecosystem-based management components of the National Ocean Policy”.

These congressional Republicans are content to sit back and do nothing while life in our oceans continues to dwindle. Perhaps, standing on the land, they find it difficult to envision how any troubles beneath the waves could trouble our lives. They forget that the oceans make up most of the biosphere on Earth, and that without the resources of the seas, human populations would suffer massive economic harm.

It’s not conservative to vote to neglect the health of our planet’s largest natural resources. It’s just plain stupid.

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