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From Coast to Coast, Working Together for our Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes

Members of the newly convened Governance Coordinating Committee chime in on what they think their work and membership means to the people and the communities they serve.

As the National Ocean Council (NOC) continues working toward implementing the first national policy for the stewardship of the ocean, our coasts and the Great Lakes, our successes depend on effective collaboration and engagement with the people and communities that live, work, and depend on our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes.  From the tribes of Alaska, to the city halls of North Carolina, to the state offices of Mississippi, members of our Governance Coordinating Committee (GCC) represent the diversity of interests that will help cut across political and geographic boundaries to harmonize planning and stewardship of our waters.  Earlier this month, this group of tribal, state, and local government officials from across the country met for the first time to begin this important work.  In the coming weeks we will highlight in their voices what their work and membership means to the people and the communities they serve.   As you can see from a few members’ initial comments below, the enthusiasm and commitment that this group is bringing promises great things to come.

Dee Freeman, Secretary, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources

“The work of the GCC and the National Ocean Council is groundbreaking.  Planning our course together as partners will lead to good and valuable decisions on the future of America’s coastal areas.  I look forward to the work ahead and the imperative relationships we will build together as partners.”

Micah McCarty, Tribal Chairman & Marine Policy & Fisheries Advisor, Makah Tribal Council

“The inaugural GCC meeting was an invaluable step towards fulfilling the need for regionally based and focused discussions on harmonizing existing laws and regulations of current uses of our nation's coastal waterways…It was especially encouraging to hear from such a diverse of group government representatives about very real and home-based perspectives on common concerns."

Kevin Ranker, Washington State Senator

“While we have much work before us, the diversity of skill sets and depth of experience of my fellow Committee members gives me faith that we are up to the task. I found the first meeting of the GCC productive and informative. I am honored to be part of this Committee and look forward to helping the Administration advance a National Ocean Policy that protects our oceans and the goods and services they provide for our coastal states.”

Rick Weiss is Director of Communications and Senior Science and Technology Policy Analyst at the Office of Science and Technology Policy

Sahar Wali is Director of Communications at the Council on Environmental Quality