Ocean Leadership’s Statement on Ocean Policy Task Force’s Interim Report

2016-06-29T10:49:04+00:00 September 18, 2009|

ol91809The Consortium for Ocean Leadership applauds the White House for taking an historic step forward in addressing the multitude of threats facing our ocean, coasts and Great Lakes with the issuance of a draft national ocean policy.

In June, the President established the interagency Ocean Policy Task Force charged with establishing a national ocean policy, a framework for improved stewardship, and an implementation strategy.  Yesterday, the White House Council on Environmental Quality issued an interim report for a 30-day public review and comment period, which recognizes the need for stronger linkages between management and science.

“Ocean Leadership was fortunate to have the opportunity to testify and provide advice to the task force on several occasions over the past several months.  Based the interim report, the Task Force clearly recognizes the necessity of science in support of a national ocean policy,” said Robert Gagosian, President of Ocean Leadership.  “We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration to ensure that the scientific community provides the knowledge and understanding necessary to better protect, conserve and sustainably manage our ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources.”

The draft ocean policy states that it is the policy of the United States to have:

  1. Healthy and Resilient Ocean, Coasts and Great Lakes;
  2. Safe and Productive Ocean, Coasts and Great Lakes; and
  3. Understood and Treasured Ocean, Coasts and Great Lakes; including increased scientific understanding of these ecosystems as part of the global environment, improved understanding and awareness of changing environmental ocean conditions and public understanding of the value of the ocean.

All of the nine proposed national priority objectives identified in the interim report require significant participation of and contributions from the scientific community.   Ocean Leadership commends the Administration for elevating the importance of these issues, for recognizing the role of best available science and the need to support disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and monitoring.  The Ocean Policy Task Force also proposed modifications to the current Committee on Ocean Policy structure which would potentially enhance federal, state and regional coordination along with providing sustained high-level Federal government participation.

More details about this interim report, the public comment period and the upcoming regional Town Hall meetings can be found on the Council of Environmental Quality’s web site:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/oceans/.

About the Consortium for Ocean Leadership

The Consortium for Ocean Leadership is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that represents 94 of the leading public and private ocean research and education institutions, aquaria and industry with the mission to advance research, education and sound ocean policy. The organization also manages ocean research and education programs in areas of scientific ocean drilling, ocean observing, ocean exploration, and ocean partnerships.

For more information or interviews, contact:

Gregg Schmidt
Consortium for Ocean Leadership
202-448-1231
gschmidt@oceanleadership.org