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Business Voice for the Environment
April 30, 2011
Advocacy, Publications, and Events
-The Convergence of Economic, Environmental and National Security
-DC Delegates Tackle NOP, Catch Limits, and Oil Spills
-Big Progress on Fishery Management and Energy
-Rocky Moutains meets with Rep. Coffman, Rep. Tipton, Rep. DeGette and TJ Deora
-What Happens to the Natural Resources When the Ice Melts?
Alex Wall and Trevor Winnier excited to join E2
-San Diego Chapter Welcomes Sarah Mueller
-Advocacy Area News from April and March TeleSalon (Recording)
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This year, earth day might be called Oceans Day for the E2 New England Chapter.

E2 New England has been active on ocean issues since our first trip to Washington in 2003 where we advocated for stronger constraints on overfishing. Through the years, we have worked on many oceans-related issues, many of which have come to fruition: a strengthened Magnuson-Stevens Act to reduce overfishing; the Massachusetts Oceans Act that pioneered a state-of-the-art oceans plan based on coastal and marine spatial planning; and other ocean-related issues at both the state and federal level, including support for the nation’s largest planned offshore wind farm, Cape Wind.

In many ways, we are now seeing the positive results of these efforts. Largely thanks to revised fishery management policies that E2 supported for many years, for the first time in at least a century, U.S. fishermen won't take too much of any species from the sea, according to scientist Steve Murawski, one of the nation's top fishery scientists. That doesn’t mean that all species are at healthy levels; they aren’t. But at least there is now the chance for populations to rebound to the point where they can be fished consistently at sustainable levels; additionally the law demands that they be rebuilt over a 10-year timeframe if they are biologically capable of doing so. The projected end of overfishing comes during a turbulent fishing year that has seen New England fishermen switch to a radically new management system.

As you can see from E2's trip to Washington, not everyone is happy with the new system, and we must constantly fight efforts to roll back the law with so-called “flexibility” legislation that would perpetuate the unsustainable practices of the past.

In addition to fishing, E2 has consistently supported responsible development of offshore renewable energy such as the Cape Wind development off the shores of Nantucket. On April 28, after almost a decade of exhaustive study and analyses, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar approved the Cape Wind renewable energy project on federal submerged lands in Nantucket Sound.

On Friday, April 22, E2 Directors Berl Hartman and Dianne Callan attended a briefing by state officials on the status of the Massachusetts Oceans Act. The Act used state-of-the-art technology to map various ocean activities and sensitive areas to get a clear spatial view of suitable development of the State’s coastal waters. This methodology is serving as a template for the National Oceans Policy that President Obama has proposed and that NOAA is supporting.

At the meeting, State officials also brought us up to date on plans for offshore renewable energy in federal waters off the coast of Massachusetts, an issue that E2 had also weighed in on with a letter to BOEMRE supporting the “Smart from the Start” process that would identify suitable areas for wind development and speed the permitting process.

Even our E2 spring event focused on Oceans. On March 30, renowned author, ecologist and marine conservationist Carl Safina was joined by Sarah Chasis, NRDC’s senior attorney and director of NRDC’s Ocean Initiative, at an E2 New England luncheon to explore the scientific, moral and social implication of our relationship with nature and in particular our imperiled oceans. Our thanks to Turner Fisheries and the Weston Hotel for hosting the event, which was extremely well attended.

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