Saturday, July 29, 2006

Bush's Landmark Conservation Event [!?!]

Last month, Bush announced a new national monument in a remote part of Hawaii. This string of islands, atolls, reefs and shoals is home to more than 7000 species and has been referred to as a 'biological jewel'. Protecting this 1,200 mile long area from fishing and major tourism is the most significant thing Bush has done for the environment in his presidency and is something he will certainly try to hang his hat on. With his standard, every man's delivery, he told reporters, "this is a big deal."

Bush saw a documentary that French filmmaker Jean-Michel Cousteau made about this area and was inspired to get the region protected. The right story telling at the right place and time can be a pretty powerful thing and this example is one that I think is very inspiring. However, I can't help but feel that is just another case in which Bush is doing some major PR work. After all, this new protection will prevent a total of 8 fishing boats from entering the region and keep away the very small number of visitors who actually have the resources to go to such a remote destination. That being said, this is now the biggest marine reserve in the country.

Check PBS's site for an excellent video featuring excepts from the documentary and interviews with Cousteau himself:

[Images used in this post were taken from]


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