With more than half of our oceans lying beyond the authority of any one country, a global protection framework is essential, as you've said, to safeguard the health of the oceans and enable the implementation of important tools such as environmental impact assessments and marine reserves.
It is an impressive attraction that houses over 100,000 animals, representing 500 species, in 10 million gallons of water. When the Georgia Aquarium opened in 2005, it was the largest Aquarium in the world.
We live on an ocean planet and the U.S. is an ocean nation. Our country includes more land underwater than above. It might behoove us to remember those facts as we set our country's spending priorities going forward.
There is, in truth, just one profound question we have to answer: Do we want a sick ocean, or a healthy one? And if our answer is "healthy", we cannot pretend that we can achieve it without urgent action on climate change.
It has been counter-productive just to blame religion per se for obstructive solutions to rectify and address climate change, instead of focusing on the impact that consumerism has had on the ecosystem.
During a recent presentation about Hokule'a's worldwide voyage, Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson remarked that if you want to save the Earth, save the ocean. "Out of four breaths you take," he said, "three come from the ocean."
The damage from the bottled water industry isn't just to our intelligence and our wallets; it's also to the world we live in. We're severely harming the land, air and water around us, while the rest of the world pays the price for our thoughtless over-consumption.
If action isn't taken quickly and soon, I am fearful of what the long term, unrestrained use of pesticides will do to the ecology of Hawaii. What the general public needs to know, is that GMO research in Hawaii requires the use of powerful restricted use pesticides.
Protecting the oceans isn't about political power; it's about empowering the people. Forget about Citizens United. We have our voices and we have our votes, and if we have the will to win, that's all we need. We will prevail in protecting the oceans.
The story of the Phoenix Islands shows how a single small action by a few individuals can grow to enlist the expertise, energy, and passion of people around the world, from ordinary citizens to professionals to policymakers at the highest levels of government.