962 words • 4~6 min read

June is National Ocean Month and the president’s proclamation needs some fact checking.

June is National Ocean Month! Take a moment to step back, breathe, and reflect on what the ocean means to you. Go to the beach. Read Moby Dick. Build an underwater robot. And then go remind you representative how critical science-based ocean policy is to the future of our country. It seems like our elected leaders may need a little refresher on that, since the presidential proclamation announcing National Ocean Month is a bit… inaccurate.

Fortunately, we’ve take the time to graciously provide some constructive corrections. You’re welcome.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

National Ocean Month celebrates the mighty oceans and their extraordinary resources. This month, we recognize the importance of harnessing the seas for our national security and prosperity [Only 1 out of 53 key executive positions in the Department of Defense and 1 out of 21 key executive positions in the Department of Commerce have been filled by the current administration. ~Ed.].

Thirty-four years ago, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the creation of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zonethe United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (which the US has still not ratified), spearheaded by the presidents of Peru and Chile, established formal recognition of Exclusive Economic Zones, granting the United States the right to explore, exploit, conserve, and manage ocean resources extending 200 nautical miles from our shores, in what were previously international waters. This is the world’s second largest Exclusive Economic Zone, after France, spanning more than 3.4 million square nautical milesabout 3.3 million square nautical miles an area larger than the combined landmass of all 50 States. We must recognize the importance of our offshore areas to our security and economic independence [The US Navy has identified 128 US naval bases threatened by sea level rise, valued at $100 billion. ~Ed.], all while protecting the marine environment for present and future generations.

Today, our offshore areas remain underutilized and often unexplored [Currently the position overseeing Expeditions and Explorations for the Office of Ocean Exploration and Research is vacant. ~Ed.]. We have yet to fully leverage new technologies and unleash the forces of economic innovation to more fully develop and explore our ocean economy [The Blue Economy, as ocean innovation is often referred, was identified as a key element to reaching sustainable development goals under the Paris Agreement. ~Ed.]. In the field of energy, we have just begun to tap the potential of our oceans’ oil and gascrude oil production peaked in 2006 and has been on a slow and steady decline. Wind, wave, and tidal resources are needed to power the Nation. The fisheries resources of the United States are among the most valuable in the world [In the last 30 years, extensive, well-implemented fisheries management programs have allowed many US fisheries to rebound from depleted states. ~Ed.]. Growing global demand for seafood presents tremendous opportunities for expansion of our seafood exports, which can reduce our more than $13 billion seafood trade deficit [Sea Grant provides an economic boost of $575 million to coastal economies and sustains 3,000 businesses and 21,000 jobs, annually, the vast majority of which are in the fishing and aquaculture industry. The president has proposed to eliminate Sea Grant. ~Ed.].

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2017 as National Ocean Month. This month, I call upon Americans to reflect on the value and importance of the oceans not only to our security and economy, but also as a source of recreation, enjoyment, and relaxation.

[The president has not appointed a director for NOAA. ~Ed.]


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Deep-sea biologist, population/conservation geneticist, backyard farm advocate. The deep sea is Earth's last great wilderness.


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