When I began working with Jake Levenson (Oceans Forward) early the year before, we were developing a marine conservation and robotics program to bring to students on the Island, but the storm changed everything. Though my first trip to Dominica was far different from what we had planned, it was the beginning of a long partnership with Levenson, the Dominica Sea Turtle Conservation Organization, and friends and colleagues from Dominica and around the world committed to marine conservation and answering the big question: can a small island create a model for financially sustainable marine conservation that is resilient to both the changing climate and the ever-shifting winds of ecotourism?
From that question, and over many conversations with stakeholders, experts, funders, and community leaders, the Rosalie Conservation Center–a center of learning and research as well as a fish hatchery and a rum distillery–was born.
After three brutal hurricanes, the islands of the Caribbean are hurting. It can be hard, in the wake of catastrophe, to know where your donations can be best spent. We’ve contacted several of our colleagues on the ground to find out who’s doing the work and which aid organizations and groups need help now.
Hi, my name is [your name], resident of District [your disctrict], zip code [your zip code] and I don’t need a response.
I’m calling to ask the [Senator/Congressman/Congresswoman] to join the efforts of some of his colleagues in Congress–like Congressman José Serrano, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Senator Marco Rubio, Resident Commissioner Jennifer González, and others–to put pressure on the federal government to provide more assistance to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands after being hit by Hurricane Maria, and on Congress to allocate the necessary funds/resources to do so. Also, to please join some of these representatives on calling for at least one year exemption from the Jones Act or US Cabotage laws to Puerto Rico.
Feel free to recommend your favorite organizations providing aid on the ground in the comments below. We would prefer to focus on ground efforts driven by affected communities, rather than large, international aid organizations.
The fight for our Marine National Monuments isn’t over. We now know of the contents of Zincke’s monument review memo, and it is not good. The DOI wants to see commercial fishing return to the Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll Marine National Monuments. Longline fishing in these regions has historically been conducted by foreign fishing fleets which have been documented using slave labor. Many ecologists believe that maintaining these protected zones serve as a refuge that boost populations of many important commercial fish and improve the overall health of the fishery. Any change to monuments created under the Antiquities Act must be approved by congress. You’ve got a lot of reason to call you representatives this week, so why not add “I opposed the reintroduction of ecologically and economically destructive commercial fishing to the Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll Marine National Monument.” to your script?