Task Force Seeks to Harmonize Government Policy for the Oceans

Amanda Leland, EDF Oceans Program - National Policy DirectorThe Obama administration took a big step towards harmonizing the policies of the federal government as it relates to oceans.  With 140 federal laws and more than 20 federal agencies and commissions covering the oceans, you can imagine how difficult it can be to keep everything straight. 

The Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force issued its report yesterday outlining a new unifying national ocean policy to advance environmental, economic and others goals.  The next step is for the Task Force to report on how the operations of the government might change to better implement this policy consistent with federal law.   

 This new national ocean policy was a core recommendation of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission. The task force’s report is an important and welcomed step but the bigger picture is perhaps more exciting.  The report signals that the Obama administration is focusing on the oceans, raising it to the highest levels government.  There is much more to be done for the oceans, but this is a terrific step.

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