National Geographic : 2006 Nov
LETTERS California at Davis, shares these concerns about chimps. It took several years to find a chimp that met the researchers' strict criteria, which included a nonabu sive personal history and good, social living conditions. I got to see these chimps in a caring environment before I began to work with them. Land on the Edge Your article did a tremendous job of highlighting not only the ecological and economic importance of our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes, but also their declining health. Thank you for turning the tide on this crisis before it is too late. Members of the U.S . Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Com mission have joined forces in a bipartisan effort, the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, to help protect and enhance the long-term vitality of our oceans. The article's heroes are making a difference to improve the health of our coasts. However, concerted and sustained effort by all of us is needed, and change will only occur when citizens communicate their concerns to government officials and insist they support programs that protect our oceans. LEON E. PANETTA ADM. JAMES D. WATKINS Co-chairs, Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, Washington, D.C. Corrections, Clarifications Land on the Edge (July 2006) Figures for bacteria counts on page 66 were mistakenly stated in parts per billion. The correct measure ment is organisms per 100 milliliters of water. The error was corrected on press in half our issues. As a 27-year-old Florida Panhandle native, I was dis appointed to see the St. Joe Company given a flattering portrayal in your article. For every tony coastal commu nity that gets packaged as a refuge, hundreds of strip malls, gas stations, and big-box stores follow closely behind-all to serve the thou sands of incoming, "nature loving" transplants. Two-lane roads become four-lane highways. In fact it threatens not only the wildlife but also the unique, centuries-old culture of this state. VIOLETTA SHEKINAH Tallahassee, Florida Panda, Inc. Lynne Warren's insightful cost-benefit analysis of giant pandas in American zoos went deeper than those from other major media outlets. Warren's prose, along with the poignant photography, revealed the benefit of such investment-international scientific collaboration that can save species. Fujifilm's more than eight-million-dollar commitment to the Smithso nian's National Zoo helped us shoulder our cost-it also funds the Fujifilm Giant Panda Habitat, home to our beloved giant panda family. Success in saving giant pandas may be within our reach, but thousands of other species, including Asian elephants and Sumatran tigers, also live perilously close to extinction. Zoos can help save them, and corporate support makes it possible. JOHN BERRY Director, Smithsonian National Zoological Park Washington, D.C. 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