"Sustainability" was defined by a Presidential Council as "development that meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs." |
The basic objective and underlying principle of sustainability is fairly simple: we need to live within the
capacity of natural systems.
In practice, sustainabile use of resources will be achieved gradually through an evolving, politically acceptable consensus, based
on the public's growing understanding of relationships between actions in the present and their significant, long-term
consequences. Because public support of policy is so critical to this determination, the accessibility, clarity, credibility, and
accountability of information about these relationships is key to the effectiveness of sustainability as a policy concept.
Steps toward sustainability will be many, and since the issues are systemic (involving many political, economic, cultural, and social
institutions), we must accept incremental movement toward more responsible practices rather than sweeping reforms. At the heart
of this transition is a basic shift in values that, over time, will result in a more enlightened public understanding of self interest that is
aligned with broad public interest.
For these reasons, the Center for a Sustainable Coast places high priority on the analysis and timely interpretation of information
about human activities and the environment for use by the public and decisionmakers. We encourage our members and other
colleagues to share such information at every opportunity. Please check our website regularly for commentary, Internet links, and
related information about the many issues that reflect our region's conditions and trends.