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U.S. Ocean Policy – out with the “COP” and in with the “NOC”

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Today at the White House the President signed an Executive Order establishing for the first time a National Ocean Policy for the United States. For several months agencies in the Executive side of government have seemed leery to move forward with tangible plans to effect the protection and restoration of our ocean and coastal resources.  Left with remnants of the Bush Administration’s ocean governance structure, and lacking a clear new set of labels and structures for the Obama Administration, paralysis became a policy for too many in the bureaucracy. But with the stroke of a pen today, President Obama put an end to any excuses for not pulling together and moving forward.  It is out with the “COP” (Commission on Ocean Policy) and in with the “NOC” (the National Ocean Council), and while an org tree analysis might now show much difference, those involved in the process think they have broken a logjam and we’re now headed in a new and better direction.

Whether the system is substantially different, or in reality mostly the same, it may turn out that it is the optimism of those in the game that may prove to be the deciding factor.

More analysis on the National Ocean Policy in my next post……

The author is a scientist by training and the owner of W.H. Nuckols Consulting, an environmental policy firm.
A bio for Mr. Nuckols is located at www.WilliamHNuckols.com

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Written by Will Nuckols

July 19, 2010 at 8:29 pm

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