On January 19th, 2010, President Obama signed an executive order entitled “Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes,” putting an increased focus on the Federal Government’s responsibility in marine conservation. The order also created the National Ocean Council (NOC). One of the NOCs first tasks was to put together an implementation plan to direct Federal agencies in how to best use their resources for the protection and management of our nation’s oceans and lakes.
The National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan, released earlier this month, highlights over 50 actions the Federal Government will take to ensure the protection of our country’s marine ecosystems. It focuses on nine priority objectives, which include ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes mapping and observation, regional ecosystem protection and restoration, resiliency and adaptation to climate change and improving water quality.
The entire plan can be found on The White House website, here.
The draft lays the groundwork for increasing obligation on the Federal Government’s part in protecting our oceans. And while much can be done on a grassroots level, it’s imperative for our elected officials to work on our ocean’s behalf and direct the resources ($$) to do so.
In addition to reading the plan and accompanying FAQ, the public is encouraged to share their input and suggestions, which can be done here.
The public comment period ends on February 27th at midnight EST. Get your voice heard before it’s too late!