The Quincy Unitarian Church Home Page.
The list of Selected Sermons.

[Chalice] The Edge of the Sea [Chalice]

Presented November 13, 1990, by Nike Mendenhall

Sometimes a new viewpoint changes the way we perceive a familiar object so that we can never "see" that thing in the same way again. I hope to do that for you today in the way that we see the planet that we live on and the oceans that blanket it.

The third planet from the sun is a water planet, 71% of it is covered by seas. As we look at the globe, we see two hemispheres, water and land. The land hemisphere is only about half land and the water hemisphere is only 10% land. We know little of the water half of our planet, because of our natural bias--humans are land dwellers, and much of the oceans vastness an unknown, inhospitable world for our fragile bodies.

To scale, the oceans would be a thin, wet film on the surface of this globe. On the same scale, mountains are the thickness of the ink to print them, their heights dwarfed by the corresponding depths of the seas. (use topographical map of oceans) Sagarmatha, the world's highest peak is easily swallowed by the Mariana Trench, the deepest abyss.

The oceans are not smooth bowls of seawater between continents with the deepest point at the center. The seafloor is home of deeper canyons, higher mountains, steeper scarps, longer ridges, and flatter plains than the land. A continuous ridge of mountains, the Mid-Ocean Ridge, circles the globe. Along its flanks, the ocean floor accounts for the second oceanic division.

The abyssal floor, great plains in the four major oceans, are margined by massive canyons and long narrow trenches. They plunge as deep as 11,000 meters, and can be found along continental margins and island arcs. The final oceanic division is this margin along the continents.

Gently sloping upward from the depths, the continental slopes comprise about 15% of the oceans. The transition zone from deep ocean to continental shelf is a steep gradient, 4 to 10 times steeper than their land counterparts, foothills.

As the slopes rise to a depth of less than 500 meters, they meet the land along the continental shelves. Although only 8% of the ocean's expanse, these shelves, fed by rich land sediments, support abundant fisheries.

The land serves as barriers that define the shape of the oceans, which can be considered a continuous ecosystem. Temperature gradients, varying salinities, and other variables define discrete regions within the ocean ecosphere. The ocean cannot readily be sliced up like some gigantic pie: it is a continuous ecosystem and many of it components, like the major currents, flow to the horizons with sublime indifference to human politics. Better, some say, to view the ocean as a whole.

Deep in the heart of a continent in Quincy Illinois, our lives are dependent on the oceans. They serve as the final receptacle for our wastes, as the regulating mechanism for our climate, as the gas regulators of the air we breathe, as the source of our ancestral life...relationships that humankind is only beginning to understand.

Like a mother with unconditional love, the ocean offers her human children the promise of a rich "resource realm". With wisdom and care, we may find sustainable food, minerals, and energy from her.

The beginning of the oceans are tied to the beginnings of the earth. Not long after the new planet began to cool, the rains began to fall, and washed the land, carrying minerals and sediments to the seas. As cooling continued, oceans grew, becoming more and more salty with the taste of the land. The earth was not a very hospitable place. The atmosphere was loaded with noxious gases.

As serendipity would have it, molecules began to organize themselves in the murky soup, and began to replicate themselves, Organisms began to spew off wastes, Oxygen gas among them. These anaerobic organisms mutated, creating a new kind of organism that could use the oxygen, the sun's energy, and the dissolved sea minerals.

Little plants composed of single celled algae and bacteria began their work that has lasted for more than three and a half BILLION years. These organisms still form the basis of life in today's oceans.

Photoplankton, "drifting plants" in Greek, flourish in sunlight. They live in the oceans to only a depth of about 100 meters. Zooplankton, one celled creatures and tiny multicelled animals, feed on these little plants. The significance of these two categories of plankton is that they are the single major source of organic carbon in the total earth biosphere. The three dimensional, constantly moving plankton accounts for more than half of the earth's total biomass. Their relationship to the carbon fixing that regulates the air that we breathe, their relationship to the feeding of fish species that provides the food that we eat, is only partly understood. But, it is understatement to say that their place in the balance of life on earth is to support life itself.

Life in the ocean, like life on land, is not uniformly distributed. The ocean has its equivalents to rainforest and desert. Marine rainforests are found in coastal estuaries, wetlands, and reefs. These shallow, narrow margins where land meets sea are the world's most productive and yet, the most vulnerable sights. Coastal ecosystems, rich with nutrients and bathed in sunlight, form the basis of our fisheries. It is no surprise that large numbers of people live along these borders.

Life of land and sea are codependent on these transition zones, the major coastal ecosystems are salt marshes, mangroves, estuaries, and coral reefs. Saltmarshes of the temperate zones and their tropical equivalent, mangroves, are tidal meadows. The vegetation serves as nutrient traps for shellfish and finfish. The grasses of these prolific meadows also filter out pollution and stabilize shorelines by mitigating storm waves and powerful currents.

Estuaries with their nutrient rich river silt and freshwater/saltwater blend compose the largest group of coastal ecosystems. The intermingling of fresh and salt waters is very productive and provides the nurseries for ocean going fish. Seventyfive percent of the U.S. fished species depend on estuaries for part of their life cycle.

The most diverse and oldest ecosystem of all is the coral reef. Remaining intact since the emergence of life on earth, the coral reef is the home of the widest varieties of plant and animal life. Although enduring, the coral reef is also most vulnerable to man's actions. Of all severely threatened coastal ecosystems, the coral reef's plight is the most dramatic.

Almost two thirds of the world's population live on one third of the coastal land. The impact of humans on estuaries, in some cases, has obliterated the original coastal wetlands. These biologically important pollution filters and buffer zones face a proliferation of industrial and population stresses whose impact is only beginning to be understood. The race between understanding the impact of human actions and the ability to regulate relationships between life on land and sea has begun.

For anyone who has enjoyed a seafood dinner, they have experienced one of the most obvious ways that the ocean impacts us, food. Since pre-history, the ocean has served our platters, offering abundant resources to fill our bellies. But through ignorance and misunderstanding, we are placing all of this in jeopardy.

How prolific is the ocean? In 1950 21 million tonnes of fish were harvested. The catch continued to expand 6-7% annually until in the 1970's the catch soared to over 70 million tonnes. The expansion of the catch far outproduced the land based "Green Revolution" of the same time period. This is significant, because fishing is a form of hunting, whereas farming implies management of resources.

Five general species of fish are pursued: demersal (bottom dwellers), pelagic (surface dwellers), crustaceans, cephalopods, and marine mammals. The fish of preference is demersal which include cod, haddock, sole, plaice, orange roughy, and skate--a good annual catch would be about 20 million tonnes. Close in preference, with an annual catch of about 30 million tonnes, are the pelagic types including salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, and fish meal species such as anchovy. The crustaceans; shrimp, lobster, and other shellfish, have a lesser catch of about 2.5 million tonnes, and the cephalopods, squid and octopus, around 1 million tonnes. Marine mammals have been so badly squandered that their potential with careful management is lost for untold generations. Of the total catch, about 1/3 is used for feed and fertilizer, mostly for the developed North.

Some experts claim, with careful management, the oceans can be more prolific than the land, promising catches of 100 million tonnes in a "sustainable yield". Sustainable yield is the theoretical optimum annual catch that can be expected indefinitely without stock failure. Other experts claim that sustainable yield limits are one tenth this number, as we have little understanding of the food web impact we are actually causing. They are quick to point out that our biological skills and understanding of the original size of fish stocks is limited. Compound this with technology that is expanding faster than our knowledge of its impact. In 20 years, fishing has advanced so that whole fish species are being stripped with a fraction of the effort originally needed. The implementation of technology is in an investment atmosphere where investors expect to seize their profits in a few years, regardless of the time that the fishery requires to bounce back.

Something started to happen in the 1970's. Fishing failures, unheard of in the 1950's, became more and more common, and traditional fisheries collapsed, some rather spectacularly. Side note: the most spectacular collapse is the South American Anchoveta crisis of 1972. Overfishing combined with the El Nino current caused a world catch crash resulting in a loss of 84% in one year.

Today, it is a struggle to maintain catches, and the numbers conceal the drastic changes in catch composition. The average size of fish is getting smaller and smaller (younger and younger) and the percentage of preferred species is declining. This is reflected in the availability and price of favored white meat species such as haddock, halibut and cod. It is no mistake that new fish varieties are in response to the decline of old favorites.

Who likes swordfish? The marlin has become a very popular table fish. Until recent times, the marlin (or swordfish) has been a sport fish, and it's ability to reproduce was not threatened by overfishing. With drift nets catching everything they encounter, the swordfish catch has increased. Recent fish catch surveys indicate that the majority of marlin being sold in world markets is now below the 60 lb. size, or under the minimum reproductive maturity size of 120 lbs. If a catch moratorium is not imposed on swordfish, biologists fear a demise of this favorite sport and table fish.

The sad truth is that overfishing is destroying fish stocks, perhaps beyond recovery. Overfishing is the result of several factors, one being the increased demand, worldwide, for fish and fishmeal. Another factor is fishing technology and ignorance of ocean ecosystems. Political ramifications are also playing their part.

Increased demand is primarily from the northern, developed countries of Europe, North America, and Japan. Japan depends directly upon fish for 60% of its diet, Russians eat twice as much fish as we do. And, with current health crazes, Americans are eating more fish. Eating fish directly is not the only way that we eat fish. As we eat more meat and poultry, the demand for fish meal increases.

In the North Atlantic, Americans and Europeans have contributed to a 40% decline in herring, a 90% decline in haddock, halibut, cod ... actually 27 out of 30 species are depleted. Now that we have misused and depleted our home fisheries, the Georges Bank, our factory ships venture to distant fisheries off the coast of Africa and the Indo-pacific. These border poorer, developing or undeveloped countries that are unable to protect their ocean interests.

Technology has contributed to overfishing, too. Large, long distance fleets centered around a factory ship sweep the ocean clean. Fish locating technology, controversial drift nets, and factory processing have all contributed to the more efficient vacuuming of the sea. The world's fisheries are dominated by a few, efficient, capital intensive fleets, nine nations account for more than half of the world's total catch, the USSR being the largest. Long distance fishing is on a decline due to higher fuel costs and territorial agreements. Coastal fishing peoples of Western Africa, India, and SE Asia could rightfully claim that the tonnage taken from their waters and converted to fishmeal for animal feed in the north. Their loss of potential food to the north represents an additional 12 kg of food protein per person, for some poorer countries a 50% increase.

What part pollution plays in the fall of fish stocks is unclear. The ocean continuously receives human-generated wastes--sewage sludge, industrial effluent, agricultural run-off, waste heat, radioactive wastes, and so on. So far, the ocean has done a pretty good job as a final dump sight, but how much is too much?

As stated in Gaia: An Atlas of Planet Management, the question is, how much waste can they safely handle? That is to say, what sorts of waste are they fitted to absorb, where can they best accommodate it, how long will they take to degrade it through natural processes--and what level of adverse consequences are we prepared to accept?"

The extent of global, ocean pollution is such that traces of toxic manmade chemicals have been measured in the deepest trenches and in the remote polar regions. How this occurs is through the little understood circulation systems. These global currents spread pollution worldwide, no part of the ocean is free from human dumping. At least 85% of ocean pollution is caused by LAND based activities, and more than 90% of these pollutants remain in coastal regions. The impact that such wanton treatment of these most biologically prolific areas will have serious consequences for life in the sea and on the land.

One of the most dramatic and media covered forms of ocean pollution is oil spills. However four-fifths of all oil dumped in the ocean is the deliberate discharge caused by tanker washing. The worst damage from oil spills is the latent accumulation of carcinogenic and toxic components which persist almost indefinitely in the ecosystem. However, the tragedy of the Exxon Valdez may bring implementation of double-hulled tankers and new washing techniques that could eliminate deliberate dumping.

Rivers, like the Mississippi, carry the major portion of pollution from the land to the sea, dumping silt and pollutants into the estuarian waters and consequently into the marine food chain. As the pollutant moves upward in the food chain, it is concentrated. Such a bioamplification process was observed in humans in Japan in the 1950's with the outbreak of Minimata disease. A coastal factory dumped methyl mercury into a river which entered the food chain. Heavy concentrations of mercury in tuna resulted in the poisoning of more than 3500 victims.

Chemical run-off caused by human activities far exceeds Nature's contribution. If land based pollution can be controlled, the significant portion of marine pollution will also be controlled. But man's negative impact on coastal areas also includes habitat destruction.

Coastal zones, necessary for our welfare, are vulnerable to human disruption and degradation. Habitat is lost through pollution, land management practices, and the spread of coastal cities. Coastal zones are often embroiled in resource use conflicts. Industrial development, population spread, agriculture and aquiculture, waste disposal, all place demands on the limited coastal zone resources.

Almost two-thirds of the human population live in one third of the land adjacent to coasts. Tokyo, New York, London, Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Osaka, and Los Angeles are seven of the ten largest metro areas, and all are built on estuaries. The city sprawl has all but eliminated the original coastal wetland, dredging and filling interrupt natural drainage channels and destroy fish spawning areas. Wetlands become dump sights for adjacent cities, filling up with household garbage, sewage sludge, and industrial refuse. In the United States more than 20,000 square kilometers have been eliminated. The loss in productivity has been estimated to cost the country more than $80 million in commercial fisheries losses alone.

Sewage sludge and agricultural run-off also takes its toll in eutrophication. Nitrates and phosphates cause a bloom of algae. When algae die and decompose the process uses up the oxygen in the water. Without oxygen, other water life dies, leading to the death of the entire wetland community.

In the tropics, mangroves and coral reefs suffer from the same population pressures that temperate estuaries and wetlands encounter. Population pressures in the undeveloped tropics are threatening mangrove ecosystems. Exploding populations, dependent on mangroves forests for their food and livelihoods, require living space. Widespread felling for coastal development in Malaysia, India, Bangladesh, and West Africa goes unchecked. Conflicting resource needs rarely take into account the natural contribution mangroves provide.

Coral reefs, the ancient ecosystem, are dying at an alarming rate. Although their size is not as significant as their temperate water counterparts, the coral reef's demise is dramatic. In July 1990's National Geographic, the article "The Coral Reefs of Florida are Imperiled" pictorially documents the tremendous loss. (Show pictures) Another in depth article is in July/August issue of Greenpeace.

I have witnessed coral reef destruction in my 22 years as a certified scuba diver. The loss has accelerated so dramatically, that in the last two years (during which I have not been diving) friends who are diving describe destruction in such a magnitude that it wrenches my gut and I consider borrowing money for our dream dive vacation, before it is all gone.

Cayman reef destruction of the 1970's was primarily "flipper pressure" a term dive masters use to describe the stresses that divers place on the reefs by being there. Even informed, careful divers bump into things (causing breakage), touch coral (leaving traces of skin oil and tiny fractures in the coral's skeleton), or cause damage with poorly placed anchors. Some may take pieces of the reef with them, a practice that is strongly discouraged -- illegal in marine sanctuaries and parks.

The net result was that divers-in-the-know avoided the tourist spots--like Trinity Caves at Grand Cayman or Lighthouse Reef at John Pennykamp Marine Park in the Florida Keys. The only time I would dive a tourist attraction would be when a member of our dive group insisted that the group must see a site written up in Skin Diving Magazine. The off colors and shabby appearance of the sponges and soft corals on these "Photo Opportunity" sites emphasized the damage of too many divers.

Something awful, more than just a torn sponge or uprooted sea fan, started to happen about 5 years ago. While on a dive trip with Geoff, I commented to a close friend, a photo journalist who in the Caymans, that it seemed to me (who had been away for a while) that less coral and more algae covered the reefs. The colors, too seemed more drab, and whole types of fish were less plentiful. Later, our pictures from that trip when compared to earlier trips confirmed my suspicion. Nancy shook her head in agreement, but commented that we were lucky to have missed the massive coral bleaching of the previous summer.

Grand Cayman and it's smaller sisters, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, were still experiencing localized coral bleaching. Word spreads through the Caribbean quickly, and soon reports came from the Bahamas, Virgins, and others that they, too, had bleaching, often much worse. Coral bleaching is a last-ditch defense mechanism of the coral polyp--it spits out the zooxanthellae, or internal algae. The coral and microscopic algae have a symbiotic relationship. Bleaching occurs after short term stresses such as hurricanes that dump vast amounts of fresh water. Healthy, living corals generally recover from a bleaching in a few months, turning brown and resuming their lives. Something more sinister is at work on the corals of the Caribbean.

A practicing marine biologist writes after a recent vacation trip to Grand Cayman.

"What I observed was not bleaching; it was death. Most of the damage seemed to be inflicted on the very common reefbuilding coral, Montastrea annularis (mountainous star coral), especially in water shallower than about 80'. On many coral heads, where there had been living coral tissue, there was now dead coral skeleton, covered with a heavy overgrowth of leafy brown algae....Some sites that had been healthy and lush...could barely be recognized now."

She continues, "So what's the cause? Unfortunately, I don't travel with a chemical lab and an aquiculture facility in my dive bag. Ecosystem stress factors are complex and interactive. Several possibilities come to mind, but I want to emphasize that none of them (or any of them) may be the culprit."

Nike's note: Reef scientists agree that a number of factors cause coral loss, but all think that excessive nutrients (pollution) and sediment (dredging) are the most important.

"I suspect high water temperatures are involved (as do most others researching the topic), but we know so little about the effects of slight temperature gradations on...[star coral]. Most of the coral reef literature deals with resistance to low temperatures, which restrict corals to tropical waters."

"The ocean felt like a warm bathtub. Temperatures on the bottom during my dives were 84-86 F. That's as warm as I've ever experienced in open water in the Caribbean, although several divemasters said that temperatures around Grand Cayman were just as high during the previous summer. Other northern and central Caribbean islands have been reporting abnormally high temperatures, too. Perhaps the higher temperatures favor algae growth and kill coral. If so, the problem is area-wide--or planet wide as a result of global warming--and local measures to improve the situation would be ineffective."

"That is not to say, however, that Grand Cayman is necessarily following an ecologically sound path to facilitate recovery. The island has an aerial anti-mosquito spraying program which has been dosing the reefs (and the locals, and the tourists) on a daily basis for years. In addition, there is extensive construction underway in many parts of the island. ... a great deal of silt from dredging and erosion is being washed out onto the reefs. Cruise liners disgorge thousands of tourists and their wastes every month. The usual toxic by-products of civilization are flowing, dripping, and leaching into the ocean. Whether these stress factors are responsible for the shallow- water kill is unknown, but it seems likely that they could slow any possible recovery...."

"Even if whatever is killing the coral in shallow water were to cease and desist instantly, it would take years before badly damaged reefs could recover. Under optimum conditions, coral growth rates are measured in centimeters per year. Once a living layer of coral dies, the exposed skeleton is rapidly colonized by competing organisms such as algae, sponges, and fire coral. these competitors aren't easily dislodged, meaning that new growth elsewhere must replace lost terrain."

What is happening in the Cayman Islands is happening worldwide, it is more severe in the Florida Keys, less severe in Bonaire. The coral reefs are crying out a warning, I hope we hear it and respond soon enough. Not only to save the reefs, but perhaps to save all the coastal waters.

The plight of coastal ecosystems illustrates how much we lack in understanding to use marine resources in a sustainable manner. The history of attempts in ocean management is beset with crises, ecological and political. However, there is a trend that offers hope.

Fisheries planning knowledge has improved to the point where some precision is developing. International pollution control and marine protection has improved. Conventions and resulting treaties are coming into force, and the concept of a common human heritage is gaining a growing international following.

Until recently, the approach to fishing was to exploit wild creatures in a wild manner. Realistic catch quotas based on a true understanding of fishery population dynamics and enforced strictly can make a difference. Couple this with moratoria on threatened fish stocks will prevent crashes like the Peruvian anchovy and North Sea herring. Minimum fish net mesh sizes and the corresponding minimum caught fish sizes will allow immature fish to live, grow, and reproduce. Dolphins, seals, and other marine predators can be protected from our nets meant for fish.

FYI: For Your Information: Is "Dolphin Safe Tuna really safe for dolphins? Last April the major U.S. tuna canners announced that they would no longer market tuna caught in association with dolphins in an attempt to follow suit with H. J. Heinz and their StarKist brand. Soon, grocery shelves held "Dolphin safe tuna" under the labels StarKist, Chicken of the Sea, and Bumble Bee. But, as there is no law and/or industry standard for what "dolphin safe" means, it is still up to the consumer to find a brand that complies to an acceptable standard.

According to "Ocean Realm" magazine, in their most recent issue, only H. J. Heinz and their Starkist brand meets Dolphin safe standards as recommended by tuna bills currently pending in congress, S.B. 2044 and H.R. 2926. If House Bill H. R. 2926 passes, mislabeling will be prosecutable. (This bill is currently [1990] out of committee, recently amended by Young of Alaska, and waiting to be scheduled for committee hearings.)

For now, let the buyer beware, and here's the inside scoop: yellow-fin or "chunk light" tuna, Heinz uses federal or Inter-American Tuna inspectors on all ships to assure that dolphins are not caught with the tuna in purse seine nets. In addition, white albacore tuna with the Starkist label is caught with hook and line, not environmentally disastrous drift nets. Earth Island Institute's Dolphin Project is monitoring the industry.

The other canners have not disclosed how they will insure the dolphin safe claims of their labels, and it is up to the consumer to unveil fraud and mislabeling. According to E Magazine's Nov/Dec issue, BumbleBee tuna still purchases tuna caught in drift nets. GreenPeace's Nov/Dec issue has a photo essay on drift nets.

Reducing our pressures on the ocean community as a whole and adapting a whole ecology strategy for fishing would be a major step toward a true sustainable yield. We can no longer take the attitude that removing one species from an ocean community has no effect on other species in that community.

Common sense demands that we control ocean pollution and clean up its past legacy. Ocean clean up has begun with MARPOL and UNEP.

The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, known as MARPOL, set strict limits on the amounts of oil and other pollutants that ships can discharge. Sensitive zones, like the Mediterranean, are protected from any discharge. Chemical fingerprinting of oil cargoes makes pollutants traceable, the net result being that less oil is being dumped at sea.

MARPOL deals with the international pollution that crosses boundaries, the efforts parallel improved technologies that incorporate incineration at sea, sludge disposal, and toxic effluent contamination prevention. Formulated in 1973, by it's 10th anniversary, MARPOL had been ratified by 25 nations.

The 1974 Helsinki Convention was the first treaty to tackle land based pollution affecting the oceans. Focusing on the Baltic Sea, Helsinki highlighted the need for regional attention. The effects are now being felt, and in the most recent issue of "World Watch" an article on the clean up of the Baltic was optimistic in tone. Helsinki set the groundwork for United Nations Environmental Programme, better known as UNEP.

UNEP's influence offers much hope for the future of the seas, encompassing 26 international organizations and 120 nations. Regional cleanups have been implemented, the Mediterranean Plan has had extraordinary success considering the length and severity of pollution there. The Programme has been able to facilitate discussion among disparate groups such as Israel and Libya, and the United States and Cuba. International Environmental diplomacy sees a bright hope because of the beginning successes of United Nations Environmental Programme.

Historically, nations have exclusive control over their narrow coastal zones--within range of their land cannons (about 3 miles), the remainder ruled by the "freedom of the high seas." Territorial seas began to be extended to the 12 mile limit until in the 1960's major changes occurred. Technology, particularly fishing, allowed advanced nations to take huge shares of the ocean's wealth. In the 1960's a universalist philosophy regarding the ocean prevailed, focusing the belief that the ocean should be a common legacy of humankind. From 1973 to 1982 the Third Law of the Sea Conference, UNCLOS III, met and drafted a comprehensive document or constitution of the ocean, intended to be backed by international law and enforced by marine tribunals.

UNCLOS III is successful in guaranteeing free passage through international straits and assuring freedom of navigation. Coastal countries claiming Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ's) also have the added responsibility to manage the marine environment that they claim. Although not as far reaching as hoped, the "common heritage" philosophy has been applied to the deep sea beds.

Of the 150 participating countries, 134 have signed the final document--but key participants like the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom have not. As an All-or-Nothing package, objections of single provisions have prevented the signing of the document by key participants. Beyond that, ratification is a long way off. In the interim, key nations (US, USSR, UK, Japan, and others) have passed unilateral legislation enacting national licensing of deep sea bed mining, in direct conflict with the UNCLOS III provisions for sea bed resource development.

UNCLOS III offers hope that such an all encompassing treaty could be drafted. It reserved 3/5ths of the ocean as a common resource, reserving 42% of the total earth's surface as a common heritage, and recognizes the great wealth that exists there. It attempts to balance universalist views with individual ownership and responsibility. It is the first step in a total world view, particularly as we turn to Mother Ocean to solve more and more of our problems. We would be much better with it than without it.

We are much further along than the confused state of the 1960's, and good starts have been made in specific regions of the world. As a stepping stone, International Marine Laws are marvelous, practical training grounds for a world view of dealing with ecological problems. Planet management methods and policies will most likely be developed and improved on the ocean front. Perhaps the ocean will once again serve as a cradle of life, this time renewed life for our planet.

©1990 Nike Mendenhall

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article:
Mendenhall, Nike. 1990. The Edge of the Sea, (accessed July 13, 2020).

The Quincy Unitarian Church Home Page.
The list of Selected Sermons.