WOLF BAY, MS – Jan 25, 2021 – Dr. Quenton R. Dokken affirmed the prevailing nuisance of the 21st century – sidestepping the environment with short-term
Dokken, who is the Executive Director of the
Gulf of Mexico Foundation
and formerly a director with
the National Oceanic and
spoke at the Wolf Bay
Watershed Watch’s annual
Part of the dilemma is the
intertwined aspects of business
and the environment,
according to Dokken.
Dokken highlighted the
richness of the Gulf of
Mexico as a producer of
122,755 jobs in the oil and
gas industries with a productive
value of $39.8 billion for
the U.S. in 2002.
If crude is sold at $23 a
barrel, the economic-value of
the Gulf in the oil-sector is
$120.9 billion. If crude goes
for $57 a barrel, the value
skyrockets to $171.9 billion.
“The economic productivity
of the Gulf of Mexico is significant,”
Other sectors that enjoy
the assets of the Gulf include
the recreation and tourism
industries which employed
472,650 in 2002 and shipbuilding
On the other hand, the Gulf
is also “the most valuable
aquatic resource in North
America,” said Dokken, and
we are beginning the exert
The “elephant in the room,”
according to Dokken, is population
growth coupled with
the massive American migration to the coasts.
This will place stress on the health of
the environment causing habitat degradation
and poor water quality, among
others. Poor water quality, in particular,
affects public health.
Currently, Dokken said that “every
measured parameter we look at … is on
a negative trend.”
And by 2100, Dokken said that population
density along the coastal regions
will intensify. With this in mind, he
said that short-term planning will not
“As a society, we are very short-term
thinkers,” said Dokken.
He said we tend to think in terms of
paycheck to paycheck or the next
release of a quarterly report rather
than what will be necessary to lighten
environmental impact – long-term
“The bottom line is folks we got to
plan for land-use in a long-term framework,”
As for Wolf Bay, he said that it’s a
healthy eco-system, but there are warning
On a tour of the bay before his lecture,
he was shown formerly forested
areas that have been developed.
“Wolf Bay, I see the same thing happening
here as in everywhere –
growth … It’s a beautiful place (and) still
has a tremendous amount of biological
life and productivity,” he said.
But, he said the “bottom-line” is that
development is coming along.