Tuesday, January 03, 2006

An Ocean Agenda for New York

In Fall 2005, Governor Pataki hosted a Symposium on the future of our coasts and oceans in New York. The following editorial from the NY Times explores the implications of the Governor's actions, and suggests that we need to do more to protect our coastal natural resources in the region. JB

It's no secret that the oceans are under siege. In recent years, two major commissions - the Congressionally established United States Commission on Ocean Policy and the independent Pew Oceans Commission - have urged prompt action to end overfishing of commercially valuable species, reduce pollution from cities and farms, restore wetlands and control development along the coasts. Obviously, a problem of this magnitude requires intervention by Washington and even international organizations, but the states - which control waters up to three miles offshore - also have important roles to play.

With that in mind, some states, notably California, have recently strengthened their laws and overhauled the way they manage ocean resources. Now a coalition of environmental groups is urging Gov. George Pataki to do the same.

Over the years, New York has done much to protect its marine assets - its 1,850 miles of tidal shoreline, its many beaches and its rich assortment of distinct coastal environments, notably the South Shore of Long Island, Long Island Sound and the Hudson River estuary. But the challenges keep growing.


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