Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mariana Trench in Greenwire

Earth News has reprinted the entire Greenwire article on the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument (you need to subscribe to Greenwire to read their stories, so a big thanks to Earth News!). The article talks about the Bush Administration plan to scale back their plans for marine monuments.
An ambitious Bush administration plan for designating vast new marine conservation areas in the Pacific Ocean — the president’s bid for a positive environmental legacy — is likely to be scaled back in size and scope, according to administration officials and conservationists who have been briefed on the proposal.
The article touches on many things that we could be using to rebrand our islands. These are things that are appearing in media all across the world right now. This is leading people to shift their image of our islands away from sweat shops and more towards our natural resources. Imagine if we tried selling our islands' image as an underwater Yellowstone and Grand Canyon as the article suggests.
The Mariana Islands have unique geology that marine groups liken to an underwater Yellowstone and Grand Canyon combined. Marine life thrives around hydrothermal vents, mud volcanoes and pools of boiling sulfur. The area hosts 19 species of whales and dolphins and abundant shark populations. The deepest spot on the sea floor is in the Marianas Trench: Mount Everest could sit on its bottom and still be covered by more than 7,000 feet of water.
The article is lengthy, but it is a good read. It has the best description of the so-called Blue Legacy I have read to date, too.
The other two, more ambitious, proposals [Mariana Trench and Line Islands] are intended to appeal to Bush’s desire for a legacy.
Of course if you scroll all the way to the bottom, you'll eventually get to my quote. I'm talking about the scaled back protections and areas under consideration.
“Imagine if they did that at Yellowstone … imagine if they just did the geysers instead of the whole picture,” said Angelo Villagomez, part of the Friends of the Monument group in the Marianas. “It’s not what we wanted. A big part of this is we want the world to take notice. We would be really disappointed if Bush would do a postage-stamp approach, with a series of postage stamps on a map.”

No comments: