Deputies Building on Great Momentum for Our Oceans

Ed. Note: Shere Abbott and Mike Boots are Co-Chairs of the Deputies Committee of the National Ocean Council.  The Deputy Committee is charged with executing the National Ocean Policy objectives and includes 25 senior-level officials from Federal agencies, departments, and White House Offices identified in the Final Recommendations of the Ocean Policy Task Force.

This week, the National Ocean Council deputies met to move forward the implementation of the National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, our Coasts, and Great Lakes.  Building on the energy and enthusiasm from our initial meeting in September, and the Principals meeting in November, the deputies reviewed the final elements of the governance structure and the next steps to produce the action plans.

The deputies considered nominees for the Governance Coordinating Committee, worked to establish two Interagency Policy Committees, and solidified the connection with the Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel.  

The Final Recommendations identified priority objectives for the National Ocean Policy. The Interagency Policy Committees will develop strategic actions plans to put these policy objectives into practice.  To ensure a comprehensive and transparent process, public involvement will be integral to shaping the direction of these action plans.  We will announce the first public comment period on our website soon, and we will provide several other opportunities to engage with us as these plans develop.

We are also on track to implement comprehensive, integrated coastal and marine spatial planning and management in the United States.  We are currently planning a national workshop for next Spring, and reviewing guidance on the composition of the Regional Planning Bodies that will lead the regional efforts. 

The President is committed to ensuring the health and productivity of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources for the benefit of all Americans. The Deputies Committee continues to work to make that goal a reality.

Shere Abbott is Associate Director for Environment at the Office of Science and Technology Policy

Mike Boots is Associate Director for Land and Water Ecosystems at the Council on Environmental Quality

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