07/19/2010 - The Gulf oil spill is a visceral example—a sticky and black one—of how dysfunctional our national policy on oceans and shorelines really is. In granting energy companies leases to drill ever deeper in the Gulf of Mexico, the Department of the Interior seemed to give little thought to how a blown well might impact the region's multi-billion dollar fishery, or how an oil spill could speed up the erosion that is carrying off chunks of the Louisiana coastline each year.
Our marine systems are connected—just ask the people of Florida, who rejected offshore drilling only to see BP's oil wash up on their shores regardless—but for too long the federal government has treated ocean issues "in a stovepipe fashion," according to Chris Mann, senior officer for the Pew Environment Group. "Shipping and fishing and oil rigs and water pollution—it's all dealt with separately."
Read the full blog post, Developing a (Slightly) More Organized Ocean Policy on the Time Web site.