President Obama recognizes that the ocean is vital to society as it provides us with food, jobs, recreational activities, ecosystem services, transportation and many other benefits.
On July 19, 2010, Obama established the National Ocean Policy- our nation’s first complete policy aimed at protecting marine ecosystems! The policy includes:
-A commitment to protect and restore all marine ecosystems including the ocean, coastal areas, and the great lakes
-Improved collaboration between federal, state, local and tribal leaders in planning
-Ability for community members to provide input in decision making
-Maintained public access to our waters
-Marine spatial planning to ensure that current and future use of the ocean results in low-impact on the ocean’s health
-The establishment of the Ocean Policy Council to oversee and ensure implementation of the policy
The policy has already been implemented and has begun to strengthen decision making about marine ecosystems. However, some members of congress have tried to halt the policy’s progress over the past year. Prolonging the policy’s progress will only jeopardize the health of our oceans which is already in a critical state.
You can explore more about the National Ocean Policy here