Letters to Obama, from the Beaches of FL

by Phil Kline

September 24, 2009

This past winter Greenpeace partnered with the Collegiate KiteBoard Association to promote the use of Marine Reserves to help protect our oceans and its wildlife. It was fabulous to work with these energetic college students. I was especially grateful that they were putting their talents towards a cause that I hold close to my heart – saving the oceans. 

One part of this collaborative effort was to collect letters to President Obama from beach goers and ocean users expressing their sentiments about needed ocean protection. As we traveled from Jupiter to Key West, across central Fl to St. Pete, it was encouraging to see that so many people cared about the oceans and wrote short messages to President Obama. 

Everyone is well aware of how busy our new President has been since taking office and between the economy, 2 wars, healthcare and other issues there has been little time in the White House for our ocean agenda. Oh how we have might underestimated Pres. O’s love and concern for our oceans.  

The President has directed his staff to work on creating a National Ocean Policy for America and restructuring the decision-making authorities of our Government to implement it. To this end he’s created an ocean task force and put the Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) in charge of coordinating this historic effort. CEQ is an executive arm of the White House that deals with environmental issues including oceans. 

We now have an Obama ocean team and yesterday Greenpeace, along with other non-profit organizations, were invited to come to the CEQ office and discuss our, under development, new National Ocean Policy. It was also an opportunity to for me to give President Obama all of the letters from concerned ocean lovers collected this past winter on the beaches of FL.

The comments were so wonderful, that I wanted to share them with you. 

  • Keep the earth around for our kids!
  • I love Turtles!
  • Help save the reefs! Make some change! You rock!
  • Please take care of our oceans – I love seahorses
  • Please help to preserve our natural resources – ocean, world, air
  • Nobody likes a dirty beach
  • Healthy oceans help keep a healthy planet

Thanks to everyone that was involved. 

— Phil

Phil Kline

By Phil Kline

Phil is a senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace USA. He is a recognized expert on oceans policy domestically and internationally, and has represented Greenpeace U.S. at International Whaling Commission (IWC) meetings and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meetings around the globe.

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