Monday October 25, 2010 – Spasms from within the “Ring of Fire,” a toxic fault line that spurs disasters from the Earth’s deepest layers, sent a destructive earthquake to Indonesia which then resulted in a deadly tsunami and volcanic eruption.  The 7.7 earthquake struck just 13 miles below the ocean floor and was followed by 14 heavy aftershocks.  Mount Merapi erupted early Tuesday morning, killing so far 18 people and causing thousands to flee the storms of volcanic ash contaminating the air.  Off the coast of Sumatra, a 10-foot tsunami struck the Mentawai Islands uprooting entire villages.  So far the death toll stands at 113 yet over 500 people are listed as missing.  One group of Australian surfers accounts they were anchored in the bay when the tsunami struck and sent their boat straight into a neighboring vessel.  They were forced to abandon ship when a fire broke within the cabins and then scrambled into the highest trees for refuge.  Follow the CNN blog for updated news about the disasters.

Advertisements

It’s difficult to believe that a force as tremendous as the ocean can be impacted by human pressures.  The state of our oceans have been rapidly worsening due to global climate change, coastal development, overfishing, and pollutants.

The EBM, Ecosystem-based Management plan, is a guide to changing the ways human influence effects coastal and marine life in order to restore the ocean to its’ natural state.  Organizations such as the Pew Oceans Commission, Compass, and the US Commission on Ocean Policy have called upon the US government to adopt EBM as a nationwide regulator.  The approach offers management plans and strategies to reform how humans co-exists and integrate with marine life.  A common misperception is that EBM will too aggressively restrict the way humans can interact with the ocean.  However many are unaware that EBM is already implemented key areas around the world  such as Chesapeake Bay, Florida Keys, Great Barrier Reef, Morro Bay, and the Gulf of California.

President Obama acknowledged the BP oil spill as a “stark reminder of how vulnerable our marine environments are.”  He has also been encouraging the National Ocean Council to use EMB as a regulatory plan to guide the US interaction with oceans. (LA Times)

According to yesterdays article “After the Spill“, featured in the NY Times,The House has passed a bill that would tighten environmental safeguards, require companies to furnish detailed response plans before receiving drilling permits, and reorganize the government to prevent to conflicts of interest that helped lead to the BP spill.”

Implementing EBM policies would not restrict human potential in coastal zones but limit the damages inflicted by our present way of living.

To learn more about EBM, check out Compass a group dedicated to “facilitate the communication of the newest science on these topics to policy-makers, managers, the media, and the other general public.  Their website offers insightful information about the current state of our oceans and steps we can take towards restoring healthier waters.

For suggestions on how to get involved and live by EBM policies, visit Seaweb.