Christopher Mann, director with The Pew Charitable Trusts' environmental program, issued the following statement today in response to the federal government's release of the implementation plan for the National Ocean Policy. That policy, established by executive order in July 2010, directs federal agencies to use their authority under existing law to protect, maintain, and restore the health of marine ecosystems, and to promote sustainable use and development of marine resources.
"Pew commends the Obama Administration on today's release of the implementation plan for the National Ocean Policy. In the plan released today, the many federal agencies with ocean management responsibilities have identified and committed to concrete actions and deadlines in and on the water to protect and restore marine resources and the coastal communities that depend on them. This is a major milestone in moving the United States toward ecosystem-based management and sustainable use of its marine resources.
"Until now, ocean management in the United States has built up layer upon layer of narrow, single-purpose laws and programs spanning many decades. The problem has been compounded by increasing demands on our oceans for food, renewable and nonrenewable energy production, and recreation.
"The National Ocean Policy implementation plan provides a blueprint under which federal agencies will work closely together, and with the states and Native American tribes, to produce tangible improvements in marine environmental quality, marine resource productivity, and sustainable use of ocean resources. These are the pillars on which healthy oceans and vibrant coastal economies are built."