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E-M:/ Sierra Club releases Coastal Report for Labor Day weekend

Enviro-Mich message from "Alison Horton" <alison.horton@sierraclub.org>


Alison Horton, Midwest Director (231) 922-2201
Emily Green, Director, Great Lakes Program (608) 257-4994
September 2, 2004	
Sierra Club Report Details Bush Administration's Erosion of Coastal
Protections in Michigan and around the Great Lakes

Traverse City, MI - As Michiganders head out in droves to the lakeshores
this Labor Day weekend, the Sierra Club is releasing a report that documents
how and where Bush administration policies are threatening America's coastal
treasures and what we can do to save them. "No Day at the Beach: How the
Bush Administration Is Eroding Coastal Protection" is a comprehensive look
at the Bush administration policies that threaten America's four coasts: the
Atlantic, the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico, and America's Freshwater Coast,
the Great Lakes. 

The report is available at http://www.sierraclub.org/coastalreport. 

"As we are stocking the coolers and packing the beach chairs and towels for
the last beach weekend of the summer, we're asking everyone to consider the
future of their favorite coastal spots," said Sierra Club's Alison Horton.
"This Sierra Club report documents how America's coasts are under siege by a
host of Bush administration policies. Everyone should be asking, 'Will my
favorite beach spot or ocean view look the same next year? Will the fish at
the local seafood restaurant be safe to eat?'" 

Here in Michigan, residents are especially concerned about mercury in Great
Lakes fish, sewage overflows, beach closings, and the protection of Great
Lakes water.  

The report details the administration policies and philosophies that
threaten the safety of the fish we eat and the beaches where children learn
to swim, and the beauty of the scenic backdrop along 95,000 miles of
America's coasts. The report details the following major threats to
America's coastlines:

.	Mercury contamination
.	Unchecked sewage discharges  
.	Oil and gas development in sensitive coastal areas  
.	Destruction of coastal wild lands and wetlands 
The report also uncovers several disturbing patterns of decision-making by
the Bush administration when it comes to coastal policies. Among them are a
steady erosion of general environmental protections, cuts in funding for
coastal and environmental protection programs, subsidizing pollution and
corporate welfare, and manipulation or suppression of science.

"In four short years, the Bush administration has led the greatest erosion
of environmental protections America has ever seen, and our beaches, oceans,
and coastal communities are no exception," said Emily Green, Director of the
Sierra Club's Great Lakes Program.

To date, administration policies have given America outdated energy
proposals, polluted runoff, mercury in our fish, burgeoning dead zones, and
depleted fish and wildlife. 

"If left unchecked, the Bush administration's misguided policies and
misplaced priorities could choke our waters with mercury and other
pollution, spoil our horizons with oil rigs, and cripple coastal economies
that depend on tourism, fishing and other activities that depend on healthy
coasts and oceans," said Horton. "There is a better way. We can protect our
coastal resources while preserving our coastal economy."

Among the solutions outlined in the report are promoting cleaner, cheaper,
and safer energy solutions that preserve America's wild heritage, enforcing
the laws that protect our health and safety, and renewing the commitment to
stewardship of public trust lands and waters.

Recently, two major reports on the health of our coasts and oceans have
revealed just how imperiled these resources are.  Both the bipartisan Pew
Oceans Commission report, America's Living Oceans, Charting a Course for
Change (www.pewoceans.org/oceans/index.asp), and the Preliminary Report of
the American Oceans Commission
(www.oceancommission.gov/documents/prelimreport) agree that our coasts and
the oceans upon which much of humanity depends are in serious trouble.
These reports together aggregate the many warnings that have been made by
scientists and coastal managers for decades.  

Alison Horton
Midwest Regional Staff Director
Sierra Club
229 Lake Ave, Suite 4
Traverse City, MI 49684
231/922-2201 (p)
231/922-2909 (f)

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