Wed, 16 November 2016
I was feeling sick to my stomach last Tuesday after I realized that Donald Trump had been elected the next President of the United States. I was worried about basic Human Rights in my neighbouring country and I was also worried about the stance the President-Elect has taken on Climate Change. He clearly does not "believe" Climate Change is a human related issue and that is dangerous thinking.
A major part of his platform is to undo much of President Obama's Executive Orders, which include protection of marine habitats in the Atlantic Ocean and off the coast of Hawai'i. Whether he will be able to undo this work is anyone's guess; however, the possibility is there. In addition, Obama used an Executive Order to establish the National Ocean Council to handle marine conservation projects and made it easy for today's guest, Dr. Rob Moir, to work with government to help establish protected areas and conservation action.
Dr. Rob Moir is the founder and Executive Director of the Ocean River Institute, which is a non-profit organization that works with its constituents and organizational partners to work towards conservation goals. In essence, Rob takes stories from individuals about what is important to them about the ocean, compiles those stories and brings them to politicians such as Senators and House Members on the federal level to bring conservation action. It's not easy, but Rob has managed to build quite the relationship with many federal politicians (Republicans and Democrats).
Rob also works at grassroots levels to effect change within the community. During the interview, Rob talks about how he went to Florida to talk to County committees to show them how a few changes that homeowners can take to manage their yard such as refrain from fertilizing their lawn during the summer can change the algae blooms along the ocean coast. His work has been extremely successful within most counties in Florida and the counties who don't follow these practices can look at the examples set by neighbouring counties.
Rob is currently focused on protecting the status of the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge from getting stripped of its protection status due to pressure from the big sugar industries who are dumping dirty water in the refuge and is getting fined heavily for doing so. Getting rid of the Refuge status would allow the sugar companies to continue to dump their dirty water in the Refuge boundaries and ruin the diverse wildlife in the area. You can get more information and learn how you can take action by going to Ocean River's website.
During the interview, Rob and I discussed how grassroots marine conservation will be the way to go under the next government administration and reminded ourselves that grassroots conservation has always been a great way to create conservation change and it will continue to be that way not matter who is running any country.
I want you to listen to the podcast and understand that there is still hope to protect the ocean in the US and around the world. We will need to fight harder, but our passion will show us the way.
Speak Up for Blue is going to take the call to action and help lead you towards some grassroots projects that you can support and participate.
Enjoy the podcast!
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