Ocean Policy recommended creation of a White House office to coordinate federal responsibili- ties and management in their respective 2003 and 2004 reports. The latest report, in which “ocean” includes the Great Lakes and all U.S. coastal waters, listed a number of policy objec- tives, including restoring the health of these cosystems, supporting “safe and productive” uses of the nation’s waters while increasing sci- entific knowledge and public understanding to improve stewardship. Among nine action items identified in the report are improving water quality through bet- ter management practices on land to prevent harmful runoff, adapting to climate change and ocean acidification, and implementing compre- hensive “marine spatial planning” similar to land-use planning. The intent is to try to accom-
modate new uses of the oceans for activities
such as power generation from wind and waves
while avoiding conflicts with existing uses such
as navigation, fishing, and recreational boating.
The task force invited BoatU.S. to provide a recreational boating perspective on ocean policy at
one of its workshops.
As the next step, the Ocean Policy Task Force
was to have recommended by December 9 a
framework for marine spatial planning using
the ecosystem approach while addressing economic activity and “sustainable uses” of ocean,
coastal, and Great Lakes waters. The process
could lead to “ocean zoning” and two states,
Massachusetts and Rhode Island, have already
undertaken such planning in their state waters.
For more information: www.BoatUS.com/gov.