The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Another Step Forward for National Ocean Policy

Posted by | January 13, 2012

The White House has released a draft implementation plan for National Ocean Policy, demonstrating ongoing progress on a massive task. The draft implementation plan is guided by four themes:

  1. Adopt ecosystem-based management
  2. Obtain, use, and share the best science and data
  3. Promote efficiency and collaboration
  4. Strengthen regional efforts

The plan lays out a series of more than 50 actions — with accompanying outcomes and milestones — guided by these National Priority Objectives:

  • Ecosystem-Based Management: Adopt ecosystem-based management as a foundational principle for the comprehensive management of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes.
  • Inform Decisions and Improve Understanding: Increase knowledge to continually inform and improve management and policy decisions and the capacity to respond to change and challenges. Better educate the public through formal and informal programs about the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes.
  • Observations, Mapping, and Infrastructure: Strengthen and integrate Federal and non-Federal ocean observing systems, sensors, data collection platforms, data management, and mapping capabilities into a national system, and integrate that system into international observation efforts.
  • Coordinate and Support: Better coordinate and support Federal, State, Tribal, local, and regional management of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. Improve coordination and integration across the Federal Government and, as appropriate, engage with the international community.
  • Regional Ecosystem Protection and Restoration: Establish and implement an integrated ecosystem protection and restoration strategy that is science-based and aligns conservation and restoration goals at the Federal, State, Tribal, local, and regional levels.
  • Resiliency and Adaptation to Climate Change and Ocean Acidification: Strengthen resiliency of coastal communities and marine and Great Lakes environments and their abilities to adapt to climate change impacts and ocean acidification.
  • Water Quality and Sustainable Practices on Land: Enhance water quality in the ocean, along our coasts, and in the Great Lakes by promoting and implementing sustainable practices on land.
  • Changing Conditions in the Arctic: Address environmental stewardship needs in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent coastal areas in the face of climate-induced and other environmental changes.
  • Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning: Implement comprehensive, integrated, ecosystem-based coastal and marine spatial planning and management in the United States.

The Wells Reserve is already deeply involved in 8 of the 9 priorities and will surely continue its role in pursuing actions that improve ocean health.

Comments on the implementation plan are due toward the end of February. The government is looking for general input as well as responses to these questions:

  • Does the draft implementation plan reflect actions you see are needed to address the nine priorities for the ocean, coasts, and the Great Lakes?
  • What is the most effective way to measure outcomes and to detect whether a particular action in the implementation plan has achieved its intended outcome? Would a report card format be useful?


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