On the Empire's front page last Friday, Stevens, our senior senator, unfortunately showed his true partisan biases, and his incredibly outmoded understanding of our urgent environmental issues when he publicly attacked the credibility of a 144-page report called "America's Living Oceans: Charting a Course for Sea Change."
This document was three years in the making. These findings came from an 18-member bipartisan committee made up of individuals from commercial and recreational fishing, private industry, marine science, conservation, government and economics.
The report was sponsored by money from Sunoco oil, through the Pew Charitable Trusts, a very well known and respected trust noted for their philanthropic endeavors in many areas of societies' general, and specific, needs and interests.
Now, it seems that Sen. Stevens is safe-harboring his love for an old 1976 legislative act of his. A co-authorship accomplishment he can't or won't relinquish possession of. This act created what the committee members now view as a number of outdated regulatory councils. The report further recommends rolling the old council functions into one, in order to save precious funds and to more efficiently serve our failing oceans. Our oceans are in real trouble, folks. They are obviously not the source of our unending resource needs, nor are they the ultimate cesspool for all of humanities' various wastes.
Certainly, this commission's valued recommendations should not become the purposeful victim of prideful authorship or the victim of uninformed posturing by our default freshman, Sen. Murkowski.
The commission's report points to many, on-going, and critical problems our oceans face, not the least of which include: over-fishing of very slow growing rockfish species; the over harvesting of large breeding species, with a resulting size decline in their gene pool; the run off of agricultural toxins into streams, rivers and ultimately into our oceans. The commission also specifically cites cruise ships as polluters, as well as oily runoff from our myriad system of roads.
If you agree the commission's report should get priority attention by our congressional delegation, then please let them hear from you by writing or faxing them without delay. Our troubled oceans really need your help.
Alan R. Munro