Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) introduced the National Ocean Policy Act of 2018 to protect the ecological health and long-term sustainability of marine environments and provide certainty in coastal management planning.
Congressman Panetta’s legislation restores federal policies to promote ocean conservation, respond to climate change and ocean acidification, and advance marine stewardship. Moreover, the bill reaffirms the United States’ commitment to ocean health, while codifying a framework by which management decisions will be made. This ensures resource sustainability remains at the forefront of the nation’s ocean management and all stakeholders may participate in marine planning.
Early this month, President Trump revoked federal ocean policies focused on biodiversity, science-based decision making, and confronting climate change and rising sea levels. This action prioritized short-term economic gains over long-term strategic policies focused on the ecological health and sustainability of our oceans and Great Lakes. The Administration has also proposed a significant expansion in offshore oil drilling, including off the coast of California.
“The health of our ocean is inherently tied to the culture and economic health of the central coast of California,” said Congressman Panetta. “My legislation will make permanent a collaborative framework for ocean resource management that will help keep our oceans and Great Lakes healthy, grow our economy, and safeguard our diverse marine resources, now and into the future.”
The House bill will:
- Recognize the ecological, economic, recreational, and national security importance of our oceans and Great Lakes.
- Reaffirm a commitment to science-based decision making to ensure sustainable and resilient marine environments that will remain healthy and productive for future generations.
- Make permanent a national and regional framework for the continued coordination of federal, state, and local stakeholders concerning marine management decisions.