Citizens, scientists and policymakers debate ways to restore ocean health at AAAS Town Hall Meeting

A Webcast of the event is archived at http://science.discovery.com/convergence/aaaswebcast/aaaswebcast.html

A copy of the AAAS Survey Report on Marine Issues is available here.

SEATTLE, WA, Feb. 15 - Marine scientists, Seattle citizens and politicians debated the best ways to restore the ocean's health at a town hall meeting sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology for several hours today.

"I'm delighted that we brought hundreds of citizens together with scientists and policymakers to discuss a critical subject like saving our oceans," said Alan I. Leshner, Chief Executive Officer of AAAS and Executive Publisher of Science. "We hope the dialogue that began today continues, and sparks creative solutions to the ocean's problems."

Participants considered three main options for how Seattle's citizens could deal with the problems facing the Puget Sound and the world's oceans:

    1. Change how residents and businesses use Puget Sound through education and regulation, since the waterways can only absorb so much pollution and over-fishing before irreparable damage is done;

    2. Invest in technologies and infrastructure to solve the problems facing the waterways without excessively restricting individuals and businesses;

    3. Accept some environmental stress so that Seattle can remain a true port city.

A majority of the more than 200 participants at the town hall favored option # 1, but many also believed that a combination of options # 1 and 2 would yield the best results over the long term. A significant minority believed that a combination of all three options was the best approach.

Participants also had the following recom

Contact: Ginger Pinholster
American Association for the Advancement of Science

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