Today the Obama administration released their draft of a national plan to manage commerce and conservation in America's oceans and Great Lakes. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over ocean issues, released the following statement in support of the Obama administration's efforts to establish a National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan:
"President Obama's ocean plans provide a framework for coastal communities to address some of the most pressing challenges to ensure healthy oceans, coasts and Great Lakes for present and future generations.
"Right now our oceans and Great Lakes are as active as they are vast, teeming with competition to fish, ship goods, train our Naval forces, harness wind energy, and conserve vital species and recreation locations. This plan will strengthen regional efforts to promote efficiency and collaboration in sharing these resources.
"Massachusetts has already shown the wave of the future in ocean planning, leading the way with a comprehensive plan for its waters.
"By creating a national ocean plan, military operations and maritime shipping can both occur off the coast of Virginia, so the armed forces can practice landing tanks and companies can still land their tankers.
"A national ocean plan means we can lay down fiber optic cable from Cape Cod to Martha's Vineyard without affecting fish habitat, so customers can surf the worldwide web without affecting the web of life below the surf."