Latest Skimmer Articles

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

By Tundi Agardy, MEAM Contributing Editor (tundiagardy [at] earthlink.net)

Implicit in the EBM construct is the central role of science. By building management from a foundation of solid science, we presume that ecosystems and the resources and services they provide can be protected or restored in predictable ways, following a set path to known outcomes. And it is not only natural (ecological) sciences that are integral to that foundation: social sciences are critical as well.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

In July, President Obama signed an executive order establishing a national ocean policy for the US - the country's first comprehensive, integrated policy for stewardship of its oceans and coasts. The policy launches a process of coastal and marine spatial planning for the nation, and coordinates the various ocean-related activities of more than 20 federal agencies under a new and centralized National Ocean Council. The President's action reflects the recommendations of a federal task force that explored ways to promote long-term conservation and use of ocean resources.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

The Crown Estate is a commercial property organization that manages a diverse portfolio on behalf of the UK. The property ranges from offices and shops in the heart of London, to farmland and forests, to the UK's foreshore and seabed. Because the role of The Crown Estate is to enhance the value of this property and earn a surplus for UK taxpayers, it leases various activities. On its seabed property, for example, this includes licensing various offshore renewable energy projects. The Crown Estate plans for these offshore projects using marine spatial planning.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

As our global society's need for energy continues to grow, the oceans are playing an increasing role in meeting that demand. The development of deeper and deeper petroleum reserves offshore is opening up significant new supplies of oil and gas. And projects to harness the potential of wind, wave, and tidal energy are sprouting off many coastlines, offering the promise of abundant, renewable power.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

By Paul Holthus, Executive Director, World Ocean Council

The single most important factor determining the health of the ocean is the way business is done in the marine environment. As the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico unfortunately demonstrates, the best-laid marine spatial plans or best-designed marine protected area can be severely compromised, if not rendered meaningless, by outside impacts on marine environmental quality in the protected area.

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