Ten Years Later, Are Our Oceans Better or Worse?

Written by on June 12, 2013 in Policy & Ocean Law

In June 2003, the Pew Oceans Commission released an assessment of the state of the U.S. marine environment, which included recommendations for necessary actions to protect our oceans.

It’s now ten years later. Are our oceans doing better or worse?

In 2003, the commission found that:

  • More than 60% of coastal rivers and bays were degraded by nutrient runoff.
  • Many species were subject to overfishing.
  • Invasive species were found in many areas.

The commission recommended that the government work to improve fisheries management, establish marine reserves, regulate pollution and increase coastal restoration efforts.

Since then:

  • NOAA has established science-based annual catch limits in an effort to end overfishing.
  • The government has moved to expand marine protected areas in U.S. waters.
  • There is now a National Ocean Policy that says “healthy oceans matter.”

But challenges remain. Read the whole post from Pew Environment to see what the U.S. still needs to work on.

Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys.

Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys. Photo credit: Phil’s 1stPix via photopin cc.

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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