Washington, DC -
04/23/2008 - Statement from Chris Mann, Senior Officer and Director of the Campaign for Healthy Oceans, Pew Environment Group, on OCEANS 21:
Today, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Oceans is marking up the Ocean Conservation, Education, and National Strategy for the 21st Century Act (OCEANS 21). To date, this bill represents the most comprehensive package of ocean conservation reforms recommended by two blue-ribbon panels.
“Almost five years after the Pew Oceans Commission and the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy warned that our oceans were in serious trouble, Congress is finally poised to act.
“OCEANS 21 establishes a national policy to protect, maintain and restore the health of our marine ecosystems. It creates a process by which federal, state and local government agencies can better coordinate their activities to achieve goals and milestones for improving ocean health. This bill also gives the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for the first time, a clear, statutory mission to carry out ocean observation, research and conservation.
“For too long, decisions affecting our oceans have been made with little regard for the health and productivity of the broader marine ecosystem. OCEANS 21 will change that.”