The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative Leadership Council has released a new report that calls upon leaders to support implementation of the National Ocean Policy. America’s Ocean Future: Ensuring Healthy Oceans to Support a Vibrant Economy identifies four fundamental components that will ensure effective implementation:
- Coordination of federal agency policies and activities with state, regional, tribal and local entities for collaborative reform and efficient decision-making in a transparent manner
- Increased availability and improved collection of high-quality science and information to local, state, regional, and national entities for informed decision-making
- Implementation of policies that allow for “protection and enhancement of sustainable economic benefits from ocean, coastal, and Great Lake resources”
- Investment in implementing the National Ocean Policy and strategies to ensure consistent funding for “ocean and coastal science, management, and restoration, including development of a dedicated ocean investment fund”
The report offers recommendations based upon these four overarching components, which will allow the Joint Initiative to complete an assessment in the future on implementation and efficacy of the policies, investment and information made available as a result. The Joint Initiative recognizes the economic austerity the United States is currently experiencing, but acknowledges the long-term economic benefits of increased investment and acting now to implement the National Ocean Policy. Investing in education, research and policy implementation now will result in better economic circumstances and quality of life later. The report calls for a collaborative effort at all levels of government to “ensure the health of the critical ocean resources on which so many Americans depend for their livelihoods and quality of life.”
To view the Join Ocean Commission Report, visit their website at www.jointoceancommission.org.