The work of the Rachel Carson Council on climate change and environmental justice frequently crosses boundaries; it eliminates the edges between issues. Our work in North Carolina, for example, focused first on huge industrial factory farms (CAFOs) jammed with hogs. Our concern dealt with air and water pollution, methane and climate change, the impact of hurricanes and flooding on CAFOs, and the environmental health and rights of those living around and working in CAFOs who are disproportionately poor, African American, and other people suffering environmental, economic and political injustice. Our work led us to the clear-cutting of forests, the destruction of coal ash pits, off-shore drilling, food insecurity, clean water, clean energy projects, both on and offshore, and ultimately to the ocean.
Like life itself and all species, the issues that concern the Rachel Carson Council ultimately connect to the sea. It is where, as Rachel Carson made us realize, all life began and all life returns. Until recent times, the oceans and our shores seemed too vast to be harmed by human intervention and use. Today, humans, in our arrogant belief that we can subdue and control nature and put it to our use, threaten the entire planet, its land and water, and all its ecosystems, including oceans, bays, inlets and coasts near which some 40% of Americans now live, work and play.
Rachel Carson began her writing and her work around the sea and its edges from the rocky coast of Maine to the beaches and barrier islands of North Carolina and on to the coasts and mangroves of Florida and the Keys. It is what she knew and loved best. But as a trained scientist, writer and advocate she also drew on countless scientific studies, colleagues and environmental organizations around the country and the world that also led her, though she traveled little, to concerns for farm workers in California, mothers and children exposed to radiation in the Arctic, and the growing destruction of marine life .
Given the history, mission and capacity of the Rachel Carson Council, our program on Coasts and the Ocean emphasizes the Atlantic Ocean and its large, heavily populated coastal regions, especially those that Rachel Carson knew, loved and sought to protect and where the RCC believes it can make the most difference.
Latest News About Coasts and the Oceans
Seventy-plus Nations Sign Historic High Seas Treaty, Paving Way For Ratification Seventy-six countries and the European Union have now signed the high seas treaty, signaling interest in ratifying the agreement designed to protect marine biodiversity in international waters.
The signing of the treaty is a significant step in a global effort to protect the high seas, areas of the ocean beyond national borders, which have historically remained ungoverned and unprotected. The high seas encompass two-thirds of the world’s oceans, but only about 1% currently have any kind of protected status. Read more
Five Amazing Ocean Sites to Make the First Protected High Seas Areas From the Sargasso Sea to the Costa Rica thermal dome, scientists are identifying key diversity hotspots to safeguard under a new UN treaty
From 20 September, the UN’s high seas treaty will at last be open for signatures – an important moment that starts the process for nations to ratify it into their own laws. At least 60 countries must do so for the treaty to come into force. Scientists hope that it will finally allow marine protected areas (MPAs) in the high seas to be established. Read more
Sign Up Here to Receive the Monthly RCC Coasts and Ocean Observer and Other RCC Newsletters, Information and Alerts.
Click here for Past Issues of the RCC Coasts and Ocean Observer