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National Policy For Oceans, Coasts And Lakes

US - The National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts and Great Lakes was signed by President Obama yesterday (19 July).

It is hoped the National Policy will strengthen ocean governance and coordination, establish guiding principles for ocean management, and adopt a flexible framework for effective coastal and marine spatial planning to address conservation, economic activity, user conflict, and sustainable use of the ocean, coasts and the Great Lakes.

Obama Administration officials released the Final Recommendations of the Ocean Policy Task Force on July 19, 2010, which would establish a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes (National Policy) and create a National Ocean Council (NOC) to strengthen ocean governance and coordination.

The Final Recommendations prioritise actions for the NOC to pursue, and call for a flexible framework for coastal and marine spatial planning to address conservation, economic activity, user conflict, and sustainable use of the ocean, our coasts and the Great Lakes.

The NOC would coordinate across the Federal Government to implement the National Policy. The Final Recommendations also call for the establishment of a Governance Coordinating Committee to formally engage with state, tribal, and local authorities. The Final Recommendations are expected to be adopted into an Executive Order by President Obama.

“President Obama recognised that our uses of the ocean are expanding at a rate that challenges our ability to manage significant and often competing demands,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

“With a growing number of recreational, scientific, energy, and security activities, we need a national policy that sets the United States on a new path for the conservation and sustainable use of these critical natural resources.”

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 and charged it with developing recommendations to enhance national stewardship of the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes and promote the long term conservation and use of these resources. The Task Force was led by CEQ and included 24 senior-level policy officials from across the Federal Government.

The final recommendation can be seen here.

the Fish Site Editor

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