Sustainable management of a huge, complex and valuable resource such as the ocean requires a comprehensive metric that did not exist until now. In the Aug. 16 edition of Nature a broad group of scientists including Heather Leslie, the Sharpe Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, describes the Ocean Health Index. The index rates coastal places, from regions to nations, on 10 goals: artisanal fishing opportunity, biodiversity, carbon storage, clean waters, coastal livelihoods and economies, coastal protection, food provision, natural products, sense of place, and tourism and recreation. Leslie recently answered questions posed by David Orenstein.
How does the Ocean Health Index’s focus on integrating human factors make it different and valuable?
Recognizing people’s integral roles in ocean ecosystems, this index evaluates how well the ocean provides 10 key benefits to people and how well we are protecting its ability to do so in the future. (more…)