Under the Executive Order issued by President Obama last July that established the National Ocean Policy, the National Ocean Council is charged with implementing that policy. The National Ocean Council will host a series of public listening sessions across the country starting next week. Listening sessions will be held throughout the month of June in Washington, DC; Barrow, AK; Anchorage, AK; Chicago, IL; Jacksonville, FL; Honolulu, HI; Exeter, NH; Galveston, TX; Ocean Shores, WA; San Francisco Bay Area, CA; West Long Branch, NJ; and Portland, OR.
According to a release, these listening sessions mark the latest milestone in implementing a robust ocean policy that will address the most critical issues facing the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes and ensure that Federal resources in these domains are used wisely. The National Ocean Council's efforts will bring together State, local, and tribal governments and all of the ocean's users -- including recreational and commercial fishermen, boaters, industry, environmental groups, scientists, and the public -- to better plan for, manage, harmonize, and sustain the uses that healthy oceans, coasts, and the Great Lakes support.
In addition, the National Ocean Council has launched a month-long online public review period for nine draft strategic action plan outlines. These strategic action plans will propose attainable goals and specific, measureable actions the Federal government can take to address key challenges facing our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes. The National Ocean Council will host The National Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) Workshop in Washington, DC, on June 21-23. The first day of the Workshop will be a dedicated public and stakeholder session.
The nine draft outlines have been released for public comment, including: (1) incorporating ecosystem-based management; (2) implementing coastal and marine spatial planning; (3) informing decisions and improving understanding to respond to changes and challenges facing our resources; (4) improving coordination and support for Federal, state, tribal, local and regional management of our resources; (5) addressing changing conditions in the Arctic; (6) enhancing water quality; (7) implementing a regional ecosystem restoration and protection strategy; (8) strengthening and integrating ocean, coastal and great lakes observations, mapping and infrastructure; and, (9) strengthening the resiliency of coastal communities and their abilities to adapt to climate change impacts. The outlines were drafted with input from a wide range of stakeholders.
Access the Presidential Proclamation (click here). Access a release on the meetings and plan outlines (click here). Access the National Oceans & Great Lakes Policy website for background, copies of the strategic action plan outlines and to provide comments (click here). Access details on the public meetings (click here). Access further information on the Chicago meeting and webinar (click here); and (click here).