The Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force has released its Interim Report for a 30-day public review and comment period. The report provides proposals for a comprehensive approach to uphold our stewardship responsibilities for the oceans.
Specifically, the Interim Report proposes a new national policy, recognizing that America’s stewardship of the oceans, coasts, and the Great Lakes is intrinsically linked to environmental sustainability, human health and well-being, national prosperity, adaptation to climate and other environmental change, social justice, foreign policy, and national and homeland security.
It proposes modifications to the existing governance structure, including renewed and sustained high-level engagement through an interagency National Ocean Council. The report also prioritizes nine categories for action, including ecosystem-based management, regional ecosystem protection and restoration, and strengthened and integrated observing systems.
The Task Force is now focusing its efforts on developing a recommended framework for effective coastal and marine spatial planning. In addition, the Task Force will hold at least four more regional public meetings in the following cities: Providence; Cleveland; New Orleans; and Honolulu. Public meetings have already taken place in Anchorage and San Francisco.
Public comments may be submitted online through October 17, 2009. For more information, visit www.whitehouse.gov/oceans.