Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Report Card is Out on U.S. Ocean Policy

Report Card is Out on U.S. Ocean Policy

Joint Ocean Commission Initiative

The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative released its 2012 U.S. Ocean Policy Report Card, praising state and regional efforts to implement the National Ocean Policy that is critical to our national security, coastal economies and the health of our ocean resources. While commending solid steps taken by the administration to begin implementation, it highlights that overall, implementation has fallen short of expectations and Congress has not shown leadership on the issue.

At the press conference, which took place during Capitol Hill Oceans Week, the Joint Initiative urged the Senate to take action on the Law of the Sea Convention and called for national leadership to ensure that we can effectively manage the ocean resources that sustain our nation.

“Implementation of the National Ocean Policy is critical to both our national security and to the health of our oceans and our economy,” said Bill Ruckelshaus, co-chair of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. “We cannot let partisan politics threaten our ability to adequately manage ocean resources to improve ocean health and support numerous businesses and jobs around the country.”

The Grades

While the Joint Initiative acknowledges significant efforts in creating the new policy and important initial strides in implementation, it issued a C for national support and leadership on ocean management, an F for failure of the Senate to provide its advice and consent to the president to join the Law of the Sea Convention, and a D- for the lack of federal funding provided to fully implement this critical national policy. In addition to issuing grades in a total of five key categories, the report card makes 15 recommendations to the administration, Congress and the states on how to improve these grades going forward.

“This report card is an important barometer for tracking progress to date on implementing the National Ocean Policy,” said John Podesta, chair of Center for American Progress and Joint Ocean Commission Initiative Leadership Council member. "When fully implemented, this bipartisan policy will pave the way for investment in sensible development and economic growth and protect some of our most treasured natural resources.”

The Joint Initiative urged Senate leaders to push for the U.S. to join the Law of the Sea Convention. Renowned military and national security experts, diverse business leaders including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute, and scientists and environmental advocates support the international treaty. “In this era of hyper-partisanship, ensuring that the U.S. has a leadership role in determining the use and management of international ocean resources should be something everyone agrees on,” said Norman Mineta, co-chair of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative.

According to the report card, states and regions lead the way in improving ocean management, receiving an A- grade. Regions highlighted include the Gulf of Mexico, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Pacific Northwest. The report card praises states for working in difficult budgetary times to address shared ocean issues, to leverage limited resources and prepare for the ocean economy of the future.

To review all of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative’s recommendations, as well as the full list of grades in each category of ocean policy reform, click here.

Visit EcoWatch's WATER and BIODIVERSITY pages for more related news on these topics.

 

A dugong, also called a sea cow, swims with golden pilot jacks near Marsa Alam, Egypt, Red Sea. Alexis Rosenfeld / Getty Images

In 2010, world leaders agreed to 20 targets to protect Earth's biodiversity over the next decade. By 2020, none of them had been met. Now, the question is whether the world can do any better once new targets are set during the meeting of the UN Convention on Biodiversity in Kunming, China later this year.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

President Joe Biden signs executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Jan. 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

By Andrew Rosenberg

The first 24 hours of the administration of President Joe Biden were filled not only with ceremony, but also with real action. Executive orders and other directives were quickly signed. More actions have followed. All consequential. Many provide a basis for not just undoing actions of the previous administration, but also making real advances in public policy to protect public health, safety, and the environment.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Melting ice forms a lake on free-floating ice jammed into the Ilulissat Icefjord during unseasonably warm weather on July 30, 2019 near Ilulissat, Greenland. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

A first-of-its-kind study has examined the satellite record to see how the climate crisis is impacting all of the planet's ice.

Read More Show Less
Probiotic rich foods. bit245 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Ana Maldonado-Contreras

Takeaways

  • Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria that are vital for keeping you healthy.
  • Some of these microbes help to regulate the immune system.
  • New research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, shows the presence of certain bacteria in the gut may reveal which people are more vulnerable to a more severe case of COVID-19.

You may not know it, but you have an army of microbes living inside of you that are essential for fighting off threats, including the virus that causes COVID-19.

Read More Show Less
Michael Mann photo inset by Joshua Yospyn.

By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.

The New Climate War: the fight to take back our planet is the latest must-read book by leading climate change scientist and communicator Michael Mann of Penn State University.

Read More Show Less