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March 30, 2006
Senator Therese Murray
Chair, Senate Committee on Ways and Means
Massachusetts State House
Boston, MA 02133
RE: S. 2308, the Massachusetts Ocean Act
Dear Chairwoman Murray,
I am writing on behalf of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) in support of S. 2308, the Massachusetts Ocean Act.
Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) (www.e2.org) is a volunteer group of business and professional people who support good environmental policy based on its economic merits. We represent over 700 business leaders nationwide, who collectively have founded over 800 companies that have created at least 400,000 jobs. Our members from the investment community manage over $20 billion of private equity capital, ready to be invested in new businesses.
As a business community, we recognize the enormous impact of ocean resources and activity on our region’s economy, culture, and history. We commend the state for this effort to establish a comprehensive ocean management plan. This first in the nation bill can serve as a model for much needed ocean management reform.
Encourage sustainable development
E2 strongly supports development of an ocean resources management plan to address the current fragmented and chaotic policy and lack of coordination across multiple government agencies in Massachusetts. A well documented plan can bring clarity, guidance and structure to decisions that affect our ocean’s many differing and competing interests. A broad-based, pro-active approach is the best way to ensure protection of vital resources while also clarifying the process for allowable and sustainable economic activity. From a business perspective, a single, comprehensive statute that mandates procedures and cooperation among competing agencies and interests will rationalize development, preserve valuable natural resources, and encourage entrepreneurs and innovation. The planning areas envisioned by the bill have the potential to improve marine conservation, actively encourage responsible ocean use, and reduce conflicts. Without new legislation to mandate effective policy, degradation of our oceans will continue.
Preserve healthy ocean ecosystems
One of the primary reasons for a clearly articulated ocean management plan is to provide a framework to resolve the inevitable conflicts of interest in the use versus preservation of ocean resources. We believe that protecting, maintaining and restoring healthy ocean ecosystems should be a primary consideration in such conflicts. Healthy ocean ecosystems provide the essential underpinning of the benefits we derive from the ocean--whether it be sustainable fisheries, new pharmaceuticals, or recreational activities.
Ensure a precautionary approach
We believe that effective management requires measurement and monitoring. Thus we support the establishment of the science advisory committee and the development of a baseline assessment. However, because environmental degradation is often irreversible, we believe that the underlying management principle should be one of precaution. We support taking a conservative view when full data is not available, since the cost of policies that destroy an ecosystem is extremely high.
We urge your support for this legislation and encourage you to act now to move the bill out of your committee. With the passage of the Oceans Act, we believe that Massachusetts will be in a leadership position on this important national issue.
The following E2 members and supporters have electronically signed this letter:
Adam Albright ARIA Foundation Lauren Armstrong Rackemann Bill August Attorney, Epstein & August, LLP Jay Baldwin Partner, Wind River Capital Partners, LLC Mike Barta Aron Bernstein Professor of physics, MIT Dianne Callan Independent Legal Consulting, Green Tech Legal Harry Cochran President and CEO, ChangeSafe, LLC Alison Farquhar Roger Faulkner President & Principal Technologist , Rethink Technologies Inc. Nikhil Gandhi Strategic Energy Technologies Inc. Susan Goldhor Biologist, C.A.R.S. Dan Goldman Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Clean Energy Venture Group Diana Goldman Founder, ICanPlanIt
John Harper Principal, Birch Tree Capital, LLC Berl Hartman E2 New England Chapter Director, Hartman Consulting Debbie Hartman Hyman Hartman Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sean Hartman Marketing Programs Manager, Avaki Eric Hudson Founder & CEO, Preserve Ogden Hunnewell President, Nordic Properties Michael Jeans Vice President, New Directions, Inc. Christopher Kaneb Principal, Catamount Management Corporation Joseph LaRusso Assistant Corporation Counsel Cathy MacDonald Lou MacDonald CFO, InfoMedics, Inc. Theo Melas-Kyriazi David Miller Executive Managing Director, Clean Energy Venture Group
Linda Plano Patti Purcell COO, The Beam Jason Roeder Dan Ruben Executive Director , Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Conventions Tedd Saunders Co-Owner, The Saunders Hotel Group Ilana Schoenfeld Ocean Alliance Ruth Silman Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP Helen Silver Foley Hoag LLP Jim Sweeney President, Sustainable New Energy Robert Weber Managing Director, Strategy Kinetics Garet Wohl Principal, Baker / Wohl Architects