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Draft National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan Released for Comment

A healthy ocean and coasts are the foundation of a significant portion of the Nation’s economy and are essential to public health and national security. The National Ocean Council released for public comment, the draft National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan, an action plan to address the most pressing challenges facing ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. The actions reflect ideas and input received by the National Ocean Council through extensive public and stakeholder engagement during two previous public comment periods, numerous listening sessions, and face to face meetings around the country.

The draft Implementation Plan will help ensure that the Federal Government targets its resources to more effectively deliver results for Americans, including more predictability for users, more efficient and coordinated decision-making, and better access to the most updated data and technology. The draft Implementation Plan focuses on promoting efficiency and collaboration, managing resources with an integrated approach, making available and using the best science and information, and supporting regional efforts and public-private partnerships. For each action, the Implementation Plan outlines key milestones, identifies responsible agencies, and indicates the expected timeframe for completion. Actions include:

  • Improving the efficiency of ocean and coastal permitting processes;
  • Improving water quality by reducing the impacts of trash, marine debris, and sources of excess nutrients, sediments, pollutants, and pathogens;
  • Identifying and making available grant and partnership opportunities to support regional priorities;
  • Providing locally tailored forecasts and vulnerability assessments of climate-change impacts on coastal communities; and
  • Improving environmental response management in the Arctic.

To read the draft Implementation Plan, see the full range of proposed actions, and submit comments, please visit www.whitehouse.gov/oceans. The draft Implementation Plan will be available for public comments through February 27, 2012.