Contact: John Bianchi jbianchi@xxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:jbianchi@xxxxxxxxxxx> 212/979-3026 AUDUBON PRESIDENT JOHN FLICKER COMMENTS ON RELEASE OF PEW OCEANS COMMISSION REPORT Calls Report a 'Portrait of a System on the Verge of Collapse' New York, NY, June 4, 2003 - National Audubon Society President John Flicker commented on America's Living Oceans: Charting a Course for Sea Change, a report released today by the Pew Oceans Commission. This report, the first of its kind issued in more than 30 years, is a comprehensive national examination of the state of our oceans and coastal areas. "Today's release of the Pew Oceans Commission report should serve as a real wake-up call to all Americans that our oceans and coastal areas are in real trouble," said Flicker. "This report's findings are an alarm bell giving warning of oceans, fisheries, and marine life in decline, and they provide a disturbing portrait of a system on the verge of collapse." The comprehensive report from the independent Pew Oceans Commission outlines threats to our oceans and coastal ecosystems, and recommends effective action that will protect the ecosystems at risk. The harmful effects of the sprawl, runoff pollution, coastal and river habitat loss, and destructive fishing practices are carefully documented. The report also examines how remedial actions by lawmakers and federal agencies have too often been uncoordinated and have operated frequently at cross-purposes. The report, written by the 18-member Oceans Commission chaired by Leon Panetta, presents an overview of the problems our marine ecosystems face, but also details the losses in coastal and river habitat, fishery vitality, wetland health, and economic value. Importantly, the Commission makes recommendations for clear action that can provide real solutions to protect our great natural heritage and improve the quality of our coasts and oceans, and the businesses, birds, and wildlife that depend upon them for a living. "The Pew Report should debunk the notion that the ocean is a vast and limitless resource that exists independently of the land on which we live," Flicker continued. "This report eloquently reminds us that the actions we take on land have a significant and lasting effect on the ocean. It is a clarion call: our lawmakers, citizens, federal agencies, and the administration, need to read it and act." Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Our national network of community-based nature centers and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all ages and backgrounds in positive conservation experiences. # # # You are subscribed to Audubon-News. To unsubscribe, send email to audubon-news-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'unsubscribe' in the Subject field. To adjust other settings (vacation, digest, etc.) please visit, http://www.freelists.org/list/audubon-news.