This week marks my first as Director of the National Ocean Council (NOC) Office, a role in which I'm tremendously honored to serve on behalf of the American people. Since its inception, the NOC has evolved into an engine for advancing stewardship of our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes—resources that contribute not just to our Nation's economy, but also to our environmental health and overall public wellbeing. The task before the Council—to advance the sustainable use of our ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources under President Obama's National Ocean Policy—could not be more important.
The NOC has already made significant progress. In January 2012, the National Ocean Council released a strong, scientifically robust draft Implementation Plan to carry out the National Ocean Policy. The draft Plan reflects feedback from hundreds of stakeholders and members of the public. Additional comments being received and incorporated now will help us improve and develop the final Plan.
I am looking forward to building on this progress by applying 22 years of experience in the resource management field, with a focus on coastal management issues and public involvement that culminated in leading the development of an ocean management plan for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I am also looking forward to working with the members and staff of the NOC and the agencies who are working hard to ensure healthy oceans. The expertise and capability of those directly supporting the NOC is extraordinary. But we can't do it alone. That's why collaborating and communicating with our partners and the public—including industries, environmental groups, states, tribes, communities, academia, and others—will remain a top priority for the Council as we move ahead.
Again, it's an honor to be aboard.
Deerin Babb-Brott is Director of the National Ocean Council Office