By Sheril Kirshenbaum | March 30, 2009 3:32 pm

It is written

Today, March 30, 2009 close to 3:30 pm, President Barack Obama signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 into law!

The package includes many important initiatives that oceans folks like me have been working to realize for a very long time including ocean exploration, NOAA undersea research, ocean and coastal mapping integration, the integrated coastal and ocean observation system, federal ocean acidification research and monitoring, coastal and estuarine land conservation, and more!

Congratulations everyone!  This is a historic day.  The news is encouraging and now we must stay vigilant as there is plenty more to be done.

Finally, on a personal note…  After so many years of hard work, this goes out to Sea Grant Fellows past and present, the good folks inhabiting NOAA’s Silver Spring offices, and all the incredible staffers I know working tirelessly on these issues behind the scenes in our nation’s capitol.


CATEGORIZED UNDER: Conservation, Marine Science, Updates

Comments (13)

  1. Thank YOU for all your hard work on this. A glass of wine raised in your direction from London!

  2. Brendan White
  3. MadScientist

    Excellent news; congratulations to everyone involved.

    Nice fishies – but aren’t they from the other side of the planet, or does this 2-legged piscevore just have a delusion that all fishes look the same?

  4. Nice fishies – but aren’t they from the other side of the planet, or does this 2-legged piscevore just have a delusion that all fishes look the same?

    You’ll find these species in the tropics, although this is a computer generated image. Shifting baselines have resulted in relatively empty oceans–and sadly most of us accept the current status as pristine having no memory of what has been lost.

  5. Linda

    Great news indeed!
    Keep up the good work.

  6. MadScientist

    @Sheril: I agree, what a lot of people see as ‘pristine’ is far from it. I’ve revisited beaches that I used to go snorkelling at as a child and all the beautiful coral is gone, most of the varieties of fishes I used to swim with are gone, and even much of the sand has gone (dug up to provide sand for construction work), but tourists regularly exclaim what a paradise it is; what a painful irony.

  7. Woo-hoo! Great work, everyone!

  8. Reminds me of the stunning Georgia Aquarium.

  9. Avi Steiner



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About Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy where she works on projects to enhance public understanding of energy issues as they relate to food, oceans, and culture. She is involved in conservation initiatives across levels of government, working to improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as his top recommended read. Sheril contributes to popular publications including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Discover Magazine, and The Nation, frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to genetically modified foods. Her writing is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010. In 2006 Sheril served as a legislative Knauss science fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy. She also has experience working on pop radio and her work has been published in Science, Fisheries Bulletin, Oecologia, and Issues in Science and Technology. In 2007, she helped to found Science Debate; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. Previously, Sheril was a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and has served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects. Sheril serves as a science advisor to NPR's Science Friday and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She also serves on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. Sheril is a graduate of Tufts University and holds two masters of science degrees in marine biology and marine policy from the University of Maine. She co-hosts The Intersection on Discover blogs with Chris Mooney and has contributed to DeSmogBlog, Talking Science, Wired Science and Seed. She was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. Sheril lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry. Interested in booking Sheril Kirshenbaum to speak at your next event? Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau 866.376.6591 For more information, visit her website or email Sheril at


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