Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Assessing Natural Resources by Craig M. Winbush

   PHS 100A:  Environmental Studies       
Warner Pacific College
March 22, 2014
                  Withgott & Laposata (2014) asserted, “Rising human population and resource consumption are putting ever-greater pressure on the flora and fauna of our planet.  We have been diminishing Earth’s diversity of life the very quality that makes our plant so special.” (p.276) As I reflect on the readings I realized we all have a stake in conserving our natural resources; from preserving the wet and marsh lands of Louisiana to the frozen tundra of Alaska. Recognizing this, President Obama stated “bold and decisive action is needed now to curtail the rate of ecosystem loss in the area and, where possible, to restore the ecosystems and the services they provide.” (p 1)  In October 2009 President Obama created a the LouisianaMississippi Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Working Group, which was coled by the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) as well as the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) with varies governmental agencies comprising of seniorlevel officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Homeland Security, Interior, and Transportation (p1). The mission of the working group is to work with State and local and public officials to develop a roadmap for restoring the ecosystem’s resiliency and sustainability in the Louisiana and Mississippi coast region
            On March 4, 2010, the working group published a roadmap for restoring the ecosystem resiliency and sustainability in the Louisiana and Mississippi coastal area that placed emphasis on protection and restoration of the coastal ecosystems as a key element to the long-term safety and viability of the region. In an effort to ensure the people of the aforementioned coastal areas were supported, procedures were create to cut through the governmental bureaucracy and thus granting them access to the tools and funds they need to rebuild.  Additionally, the roadmap outlined federal actions to address policy, process, and legal hurdles to coastal restoration in the region.   
             As I stated during class, I am very concerned about the long term affects the oil companies such as BP are creating in the southern coastal areas.  Companies like BP drill for what I refer to as “Black Gold” (Oil) for self-profit, while promoting an economic agenda. For example, they set up operation and start drilling without really taking in to consideration how their operations are affecting the local fishing and shrimping industries, respectively.  It appears local and State officials are in cahoots with the oil companies when they turn a blind-eye to the many violations; only addressing them when a catastrophic event occurs; such as the devastating oil spill which crippled the Gulf Coast a few years ago.
            Finally, I believe it is imperative that we become more cognizant of today’s environmental issues. For example, we can no longer remain idle or passive about the state of the endangered Pillard Sturgeon in Louisiana or the endangered Red-headed Woodpecker in North Carolina.  Also, governmental agencies like USACE and Fish & Wild Life should be able to work in concert to create regulatory guidance that would allow humanity and its natural resources to co-exist.                                                                                                   
Withgott, J., & Laposata M., (2014) Environment:  the science behind the stories (5th Ed)
      New York, NY, Pearson Benjamin Cummings. ISBN-13:978-0-321-89742-8  
      School Counseling, 8, 102-115, Retrieved from,
 na (nd), Gulf coast ecosystem restoration: Retrieved from  
na (nd) Saving the mississippi river; Retrieved from                              


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