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Administration struggles to clarify intent and advantages of an ocean planning system to House of Representatives Republicans

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Over the course of two hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources the Republican majority on the committee posed a lengthy series of questions which demonstrate their resistance to planning for ocean uses, but more so it showed that the concept of ocean planning, coined as “Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning,” or CMSP, in this Administration, remains poorly understood.

See the archive of the live tweets from the hearing on Storify at http://storify.com/enviroxpert

stor·i·fy|stôrəfī|

verb [trans.]

  1. To form or tell stories of;
    to narrate or describe in a story
    .
  2. To make stories using social media.
screengrab of Will Nuckols enviroxpert Storify page

Link to the Storify archived live Tweets from the House Natural Resources Hearing

(From the House Natural Resources Committee)

“BACKGROUND:

This hearing is the second hearing to focus on the National Ocean Policy and the Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning initiative. The hearing will feature testimony from Administration officials and impacted industries on President Obama’s Executive Order 13547, which established a new National Ocean Policy and Council that could severely restrict the recreational and commercial uses of our oceans and create uncertainty for inland activities.”

Other Hearings in the Series:

  • House Natural Resources Committee Hearing – Full Committee Oversight Hearing on “The President’s New National Ocean Policy – A Plan for Further Restrictions on Ocean, Coastal and Inland Activities” held on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. in the Longworth House Office Building.
image of House Natural Resources Chairman Rep. Doc Hastings

House Natural Resources Chairman Rep. Doc Hastings

image of House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Rep. MarkeyH

House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Rep. Markey

WITNESSES AND TESTIMONY:

Panel I

Nancy Sutley
Chair, U.S. Council on Environmental Quality
Co-Chair, National Ocean Council

Dr. Jane Lubchenco
Under Secretary of Commerce, Oceans and Atmosphere
Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Panel II

Jim Donofrio
Executive Director  Recreational Fishing Alliance
Randall Luthi
President
National Ocean Industries Association

Michael Conathan
Director of Ocean Policy
Center for American Progress

screenshot of video of Nancy Sutley, Chair White House Council on Environmental Quality testifying before the Natural Reources Committee

Nancy Sutley, Chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality, testifying before the Natural Resources Committee. Click on the image to link to the full hearing video recording

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

You can follow Will Nuckols on Twitter at @enviroxpert

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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

Written by Will Nuckols

July 19, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Advisory task force delivers its national ocean policy recommendations to the President

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Cover page of the Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force Task Force report to the President

On July 19th the White House released the Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force Task Force. President Obama is expected to except all the recommendations and instruct the agencies to adopt them in an anticipated Executive Order to be released at a later date.

 

Today the report provided to President Obama authored by the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force was released by the White House.  The report includes recommendations to the President on a course for our nation to establish a national ocean policy. The Task Force recommendations, a little more than a year in the making, are a deliverable of the group, established by the President in an Executive Order in June 2009. The press release announcing the report can be viewed at this LINK and a PDF of the report can be viewed HERE.  

According to the White House press release, “The Final Recommendations [contained in the Task Force’s report] are expected to be adopted into an Executive Order by President Obama.”  

The report recommends the President adopt the following national policy:  

It is the Policy of the United States to:  

• Protect, maintain, and restore the health and biological diversity of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems and resources;  

• Improve the resiliency of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems, communities, and economies;  

• Bolster the conservation and sustainable uses of land in ways that will improve the health of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems;  

• Use the best available science and knowledge to inform decisions affecting the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes, and enhance humanity’s capacity to understand, respond, and adapt to a changing global environment;  

• Support sustainable, safe, secure, and productive access to, and uses of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes;  

• Respect and preserve our Nation’s maritime heritage, including our social, cultural, recreational, and historical values;  

• Exercise rights and jurisdiction and perform duties in accordance with applicable international law, including respect for and preservation of navigational rights and freedoms, which are essential for the global economy and international peace and security;  

• Increase scientific understanding of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems as part of the global interconnected systems of air, land, ice, and water, including their relationships to humans and their activities;  

• Improve our understanding and awareness of changing environmental conditions, trends, and their causes, and of human activities taking place in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes waters; and  

• Foster a public understanding of the value of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes to build a foundation for improved stewardship.  

   

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

Written by Will Nuckols

July 19, 2010 at 2:25 pm