The Commission identified a number of needed changes based upon three fundamental themes:
According to the report, a new national ocean policy framework must be established to improve federal leadership and coordination to enable agencies to address the ocean, land and air as one inter-connected system. This framework also enhances opportunities for state, territorial, tribal, and local entities to develop common regional goals and priorities.
The Commission found that policies and decisions about ocean and coastal resources need to be based on the most current, unbiased, credible scientific information. This requires new investment in the infrastructure to support data collection and research and the means to effectively translate scientific findings into useful, timely information for policy managers, educators, and the public.
The report also focuses on the importance of enhancing ocean education to improve decision makers' understanding of the oceans, for the general public to develop a sense of stewardship, and to prepare a new generation of leaders to confront issues dealing with oceans and coasts.
Building on the foundation of these themes, the Commission's report contains recommendations that span the gamut of ocean and coastal issues, ranging from upstream areas to the depths of the oceans floor, from the practical problem-solving issues, to philosophical approaches that will guide us into the next century.
Contact: David Roscow
U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy