Statement in Recognition of World Oceans Day

June 6, 2003

Our world's oceans are vitally important, both in preserving the overall ecological health of the planet and for the natural resources they provide. Unfortunately, our oceans more than 70% of our planet are threatened as never before.

Global warming is causing sea levels to rise and bleaching coral reefs, which support bio-diversity. Meanwhile, President Bush refuses to show leadership on this issue. After taking office he reneged on his pledge to limit carbon dioxide emissions and he turned his back on multilateral efforts aimed at halting climate change.

Rising sea levels, overdevelopment, and increased pollution are all seriously threatening the ocean ecosystem and our coastal communities. Pollution and overfishing threaten fish species such as cod, salmon, tuna, marlin, and swordfish and the fishing economies dependent on them. The populations of these large fish have decreased by 90% in just the last 50 years.

A healthy environment and a prosperous economy go hand in hand. As president, I will exercise foresight and leadership to combat global warming, protect habitat, limit pollution and overdevelopment, and ensure more sustainable fishing practices. Our oceans, economy, and future depend on it.

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