It is with deep sadness that the EDF Oceans Program mourns the loss of Admiral James Watkins, a retired United States Navy officer and former Chief of Naval Operations, who led the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy that reported its wide-ranging findings for improving ocean stewardship during the Bush Administration.
As a pioneer in oceans conservation and policy reform, the Admiral made a positive and significant impact on the improvement of our oceans during the course of his lengthy and renowned career. Among those was the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy’s partnership with the Pew Charitable Trusts to establish the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. The initiative, which he co-chaired, is a bipartisan group dedicated to propelling meaningful ocean policy reform forward. The admiral was invited numerous times both to testify before Congress and advise them on ocean governance reform. In the media, he has been revered as an oceans expert and has written several notable op-ed pieces on oceans policy and reform.
In honor of the admiral’s contribution to oceans policy reform, EDF Oceans vows to continue to protect the oceans that he valued, fought for and loved so much.