On June 12, 2009, President Obama sent a memorandum
to the heads of executive departments and federal agencies establishing an Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, led by the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The Task Force is charged with developing a recommendation for a national policy that ensures protection, maintenance, and restoration of oceans, our coasts and the Great Lakes. It will also recommend a framework for improved stewardship, and effective coastal and marine spatial planning.
"The oceans, our coasts, and the Great Lakes provide jobs, food, energy resources, ecological services, recreation, and tourism opportunities, and play critical roles in our Nation’s transportation, economy, and trade, as well as the global mobility of our Armed Forces and the maintenance of international peace and security," President Obama wrote in the memorandum. "We have a stewardship responsibility to maintain healthy, resilient, and sustainable oceans, coasts and Great Lakes resources for the benefit of this and future generations."
"The challenges our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes are facing are complex, and to meet these challenges we must have the participation of a wide spectrum of views from within the federal government," said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. "The Task Force has a wealth of opportunity to make our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes healthier - both environmentally and economically."
The recommendations and frameworks developed by the Task Force will be cost effective and improve coordination across federal agencies. The Chair will terminate the Task Force upon the completion of its duties.
The Task Force will hold their first public meeting on August 21, 2009, in Anchorage, AK. For more information, click here
The Task Force seeks input on its work from interested communities, governments, tribes, businesses, associations, non-governmental organizations and the general public. To submit a comment to the Task Force, click here