July 31 2009

Surfrider Foundation Commends & Comments on Obama’s Leadership on National Ocean Policy

by Chad Nelsen

On June 12, 2009, President Obama issued a memorandum to executive departments and agencies to establish the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force. The Task Force is charged with developing recommendations for a National Ocean Policy, as well as a framework for effective coastal and marine spatial planning.

Surfrider Foundation strongly supports this movement by the Obama administration. “Our coastlines are increasingly challenged by a growing number of human use”, says Jim Moriarty, Surfrider Foundation’s CEO. “A National Ocean Policy will help promote smarter management decisions, and ensure that we prioritize the health of our ocean ecosystems and coastal communities.”

This proclamation also calls for increased coordination among all federal, state, local, and tribal authorities with jurisdiction over our oceans – a major recommendation of both the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and Pew Oceans Commission five years ago. “As a grassroots environmental organization, we are excited to support a more comprehensive approach to management”, says Moriarty. “We believe our chapter network can really enhance this effort through our many grassroots campaigns, volunteer programs, and outreach events”

“Our coastlines represent almost $138 billion dollars to the nation’s economy, that magnitude would rank it as a “Fortune 10” company, what we’re seeing with this federal movement is that we’re starting to understand we need to manage our coastlines in a way that reflects their enormous value to this nation.”

A first round of comments to the Ocean Policy Task Force on their broad agenda were due today. We are honored to join the American Canoe Association and American Whitewater in commenting on this exciting first step towards better protection of our ocean and coasts.

Learn more about the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force here.

Read our joint comments here.