January 12th, 2009
By Shermakaye Bass
Green Right Now
When President George W. Bush announced plans recently to protect more than 195,000 square nautical miles of Pacific Ocean that are part of the United States’ official waters – a combined area the size of California – some eco-activists were surprised, even shocked.
The outgoing American president hasn’t exactly earned a reputation for environmental stewardship over the past eight years. And most in the eco-community agree that his on-land legacy has been a total failure. “Truly dismal,” says Dennis Heinemann, Vice President for Climate Change Programs at the Ocean Conservancy.
Except, he adds…when it comes to marine conservation.
Heinemann and others (the primary non-governmental players in the recent designations are the Marine Conservation Biology Institute, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Pew Environmental Fund) have been lobbying the White House and Capitol Hill to protect America’s coastal waters for years, even decades.