Sandy Hook Historical Perspectives: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
The 1970s was a decade devoted to sweeping environmental legislative actions such as the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Tidal Wetlands Act, Magnuson–Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the National Coastal Zone Management Act, among others. Federal statutes passed by Congress established maritime boundaries and management policies to both protect and sustain our ocean resources. Coastlines and oceans are our lifelines, providing most of our atmosphere oxygen, as well as providing us with food, energy, medicine, minerals, ecological services, transportation, and recreational opportunities. The Executive Office of the White House does recognize the need to protect the oceans, coastlines, and great lakes of our nation, and created a National Ocean Policy to properly protect theses vital resources. NOAA is responsible for the scientific research to help establish the guidelines for the proper conservation, management, and stewardship of our national resources, along with the mission of fostering public understanding of the value of our oceans and coastal marine habitats.
The proposed closing of the NOAA Fisheries James J. Howard Marine Laboratory not only impairs the President’s executive order to insure that the oceans are healthy and resilient, but violates it completely. This laboratory conducts relevant research and produces thousands of scientific publications, some of which were directly responsible for stopping ocean dumping, and changing shipping lanes to avoid collisions with whales as a result of mapping plankton populations. In addition, the Howard Lab does extensive work on fisheries, pollution, acidification of oceans, climate change, fish habitat condition, mapping the Hudson Canyon and making new discoveries of life, and studying the impact of urban lencroachment on our oceans, estuaries, and coastal zones. This vital NOAA Lab was mandated by Congress over 50 years ago, and has been operating successively in a new state-of -the -art facility, reporting on the biology and ecology of one of the nation’s most populated urban waterways, and the entrance to the NY/NJ Bight. The NOAA Howard Lab is well integrated with facets of the community; collaborating with 22 colleges, community groups, cultural Institutions, as well as offering internships to HS and college students in marine science, a discipline which is often not available in most school curricula. This is the only lab like this in the Northeast, and it must not be closed.
Citizens of New York and New Jersey…. please write to President Obama, your Governors and Senators, and other elected officials to save the NOAA James J. Howard Laboratory in Sandy Hook, NJ. You may also write a letter to the Director of NOAA, Dr. Jane Lubcheno, 1401 Constitution Ave. Room 7316 Washington, DC 20230. The need to save this lab is urgent, and we ask that you join this noble campaign. Remember, there is no healthy economy without a healthy ecology. #