Rx for the oceans

ocean-turtleThe Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, the merger of the Pew Oceans Commission and the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, has issued a new report titled Changing Oceans, Changing World. It lays out an agenda for short-term actions for Congress and the Obama administration.

The report’s key recommendations will be familiar to those who follow ocean policy. They are substantially similar to the suggestions made by the two earlier commissions in their 2003 and 2004 reports. The group is clearly hoping that the transition to a new administration and a new Congress provides an opportunity to finally move some of those recommendations that have been languishing, such as establishing a national ocean policy, passing organic legislation for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, strengthening the Coastal Zone Management Act and Clean Water Act, and fully implementing Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

The report should get a friendly hearing in the administration, since new NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco is one of its authors.  So is CIA Director Leon Panetta, former chair of the Pew Ocean Commission, but he may have other priorities in his new job.

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