When Congress passed the Oceans Act 2000 (P.L. 106-256) it acknowledged both the costs and the significance of the oceans and coasts to this country. Pursuant to the Act, the President appointed 16 members from diverse backgrounds to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. The Commission's mandate was to establish findings and develop recommendations for a new and comprehensive national ocean policy.
The Commission began its work in September 2001 with a series of 15 public meetings and 17 additional site visits in every coastal region of the country and the Great Lakes. The Commission heard testimony from 440 experts, including many of the nation's top ocean scientists and researchers, environmental organizations, industry, citizens and government officials, as well as receiving written testimony from countless others. It was the most comprehensive and thorough review ever conducted of our nation's oceans and coasts.
After significant thought, careful deliberations and the consideration of a wide range of potential solutions, the Commission is releasing its Preliminary Report to be reviewed by the nation's Governors and other stakeholders. The Commission's recommendations balance the interest of stakeholders to create the framework for a national ocean policy that effectively and efficiently preserves and utilizes our nation's oceans and coasts and their resources.
"Our report puts forth long overdue bold and broad-reaching recommendations for reform to our national ocean policy," said Watkins. " Reform that needs to start now, while it is still possible to reverse distressing declines, seize exciting opportunities, and sustain the oceans, coasts and their valuable assets for future generations."
The over arching theme of the Commission's Preliminary recommendations is ecosystem based management. The Commission concluded that it is critical that ocean and coastal resources be managed to ref
Contact: David Roscow
U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy