GUE Project Baseline
Science strives to define an objective starting point - a baseline in which starting conditions such as water quality, water clarity, fish counts, living reef coverage, etc are compared to evolving conditions. Environmental declines can then be quantified and appropriate corrective actions developed. This comparative process is compromised when the measure of decline stems from nonexistent or poorly defined historical conditions. In this case, the baseline continually “shifts” downward as people with a different historical memory are outnumbered by newcomers – we refer to this phenomenon as Baseline Shift. Baseline Shift is a significant force for environmental degradation because it shrouds problems from the light of public recognition. Establishing a global library of baseline measurements is one of the most important things we can do to protect our cherished natural environments – this effort is called GUE Project Baseline.