Today the Obama Administration released the final implementation plan for the National Ocean Policy, which makes protecting and preserving our ocean and coastal resources a national priority. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), co-chair of the Senate Oceans Caucus and the lead sponsor of legislation to establish a National Endowment for the Oceans, released the follow statement applauding the implementation plan:
"The strength of America's economy is tied to the health of our oceans, particularly in coastal states like Rhode Island. With the release of this plan we now have a blueprint to streamline efforts across the federal government to keep our oceans, and our economy, thriving. The plan will support regions and states as they take steps to prepare for economic development, protect their beaches and wildlife, and ensure their coasts are still thriving for future generations. I look forward to working with the Administration to put this plan into effect.
President Obama first established the National Ocean Policy in 2010. The Policy is leading to more coordinated ocean governance and a more effective process of marine planning. The Implementation Plan was influenced by comments from industry, academic, and conservation stakeholders. Nancy Sutley, Chair of the Council for Environmental Quality, heard directly from Rhode Islanders on the National Ocean Policy in June 2011.