Posted on May 27, 2021 by Sarah Winter Whelan
This letter to the editor was written by the Healthy Ocean Coalition's Executive Director Sarah Winter Whelan and printed in the Boston Globe on May 17, 2021 in response to: “US outlines major new conservation effort: Details sparse on plan to save 30 percent of land and waters” (Page A2, May 7):
This month my son’s fourth-grade class rescued an injured baby bird. They worked together to get the bird to our local animal hospital. Their actions represent the knowledge that humans — even young, Minecraft-obsessed humans — understand our connection and responsibility to nature.
While saving a bird may have a small overall benefit to nature, the Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful initiative has the potential to bring huge conservation gains. This historic, decade-long conservation strategy to conserve 30 percent of our lands, waters, and ocean is a call to action for governments and communities, challenging us to work collaboratively toward an America where nature is inclusive, accessible, and climate-resilient.
For years, we’ve watched nature assaulted under economic pretenses. We now know that protecting the lands and ocean that sustain us in fact protects our future. That’s why we must be the ones who write in the details. The climate crisis requires this collaborative work for nature, for equity, for our communities.
If our kids can understand the importance of saving one baby bird, we can certainly answer this call to action to ensure our nation’s important lands, waters, and ocean are here to protect us and the generations to come.
If not us, then who?
If not now, then when?
This letter is a call to action for all of us. Like many federal initiatives, it is up to US to write in the details. The conservation outcomes will only be as strong as we push for, and the equity outcomes will only be as deep as we call for.
Start by taking action for National Ocean Month and calling for the Biden Administration to make structured space for us to write in those details: