Administration Presses for Marine Environment Protection in Wider Caribbean


This week President Bush transmitted to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent for ratification, the Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities ('Protocol') to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region (1983 Cartagena Convention).   Through this important milestone, the U.S. continues to demonstrate important leadership on dealing with challenging forms of marine pollution, such as domestic wastewater and excess nutrients from non-point sources, which threaten the health of sensitive coral reefs and important commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and portions of the Atlantic Ocean.  The Protocol will encourage 28 other countries and 18 territories to accelerate prevention and reduction of harmful marine pollutants and raise wastewater treatment standards throughout the region to levels already in place in the U.S.


The Cartagena Convention enforces legal obligation to protect the Wilder Caribbean Region which includes the Gulf of Mexico, Straits of Florida, Caribbean Sea, and immediately adjacent areas of the Atlantic Oceans.  Up to 90% of pollution that enters the marine originates from land-based sources and activities. 


This is the first regional agreement to establish standards for marine protection. The Parties agreed to a list of priority source categories, activities, and associated contaminants that affect the Wider Caribbean Region to facilitate prevention, reduction, and control strategies in managing land-based sources of pollution. These standards will further align Regional efforts to treat domestic wastewater with U.S. standards

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