urge the biden-harris administration to take action for healthy oceans

Our oceans are in trouble – facing incredible threats from overfishing, offshore drilling, habitat loss, and plastic pollution. Along with climate change, these threats are altering our oceans in many ways.

Thankfully, hope is on the horizon. The Biden-Harris Administration has launched a nationwide effort to conserve and restore 30% of all U.S. lands and waters by 2030. This new “30x30” goal has the potential to establish a lasting, coherent approach with strong and meaningful protections for our oceans!

Now is not the time for business as usual. Now is the time for action. The administration should use all existing authority — and better apply those authorities — to advance strong protections for biodiversity, build climate resilience and advance climate mitigation, and ensure equitable access to nature.

Use your voice today for a better tomorrow for our oceans! Urge the Biden-Harris administration to act now on their ambitious 30x30 goal.

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Petition Text

Dear Dr. Spinrad:

The Biden-Harris Administration set an ambitious goal to conserve at least 30% of our nation’s lands and waters by 2030.  By protecting our oceans and coasts the U.S. can ensure that all ocean life is safeguarded, that our coastal communities and economies thrive, and that our ocean ecosystems have a chance to adapt to and withstand the rapid changes brought by climate change. To this end, we need the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide leadership in designing and implementing networks of fully and highly protected areas across all U.S. ocean ecosystems, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and the Caribbean to the Arctic.

The scientific foundation for marine protected areas (MPAs) is strong. Here in the U.S. and around the world, MPAs have proven to be effective tools for increasing marine biodiversity and abundance. Effective MPA networks provide lasting benefits for healthy oceans and strengthen resilience to the impacts of climate change.

But the business-as-usual approach is not working. Only 3% of U.S. ocean waters are fully protected, mostly in remote regions of the central and western Pacific. All other U.S. regions have less than 1% of their marine area fully protected.

While we urge NOAA to advance fully and highly protected areas toward the 30% goal, ultimately 100% of our oceans should be conserved and managed in a way that maintains healthy ocean ecosystems, provides for strong coastal communities and economies, and equitable access to nature.

We ask NOAA to continue to implement broad-scale conservation areas protected from destructive bottom trawling. While significant progress has been made, key places like the western Gulf of Alaska are still at risk. A precautionary approach that prevents the expansion of bottom trawling to new areas and protects important habitats will benefit fish populations, deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems, and sustainable fisheries.

We also urge a moratorium on all new offshore oil drilling in U.S. waters. Ending new leasing for offshore oil and gas would be a major step toward protecting our ocean ecosystems. Doing so would prevent billions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions and more than $720 billion in damages to people, property, and the environment.

Now is the time to come together to ensure the long-term conservation of our oceans. And you have the chance to create a road map toward achieving the 30x30 goal, ensuring a future with thriving wild ocean ecosystems filled with marine life. We urge you to take it.


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