Policy News

Nearly 70 Groups Submit National Ocean Policy Letter To Congress

A letter signed by nearly 70 commercial and recreational groups has been submitted to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging the inclusion of language in FY 2016 appropriations bills that would trigger a one-year pause in implementation of two of the National Ocean Policy's components: Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning and Ecosystem-Based Management.

In the Executive Order, “Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning” (CMSP) is described as a process "to better determine how the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes are sustainably used and protected," and the Interior Department has likened CMSP to a “national zoning plan” that “will serve as an overlay” in federal decisions. Geographic coverage of CMSP includes inland bays and estuaries and upland areas as new governmental “Regional Planning Bodies” deem appropriate, and since federal entities will “address priority...ocean management issues associated with marine planning as described in the Executive Order” regardless of whether all states in a region decide not to participate. In addition to CMSP, the National Ocean Policy requires the federal government to implement Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) by 2016.??Language identical to that requested in the letter has already been included in the FY 2016 Energy & Water which passed the Committee in mid April.

To read the signed letter, click here.?

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