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Ms. PINGREE of Maine. Madam Chair, I support this amendment offered by my colleague from California, which would strike the anti-National Ocean Policy language contained in H.R. 4899.
The National Ocean Policy seeks to improve the coordinated management of our oceans and coasts, and to address the most pressing issues facing our oceans, resources, and coastal communities. In fact, right now, there are over a hundred different ocean users meeting in Massachusetts to help develop New England's ocean plan. Lobstermen from Maine, science educators from New Hampshire, fishermen from Massachusetts, clean energy company representatives from Rhode Island, and recreational fishermen from Connecticut are meeting with federal and state agencies to talk about how to improve their options for their local businesses, build resiliency for coastal communities in the face of extreme weather events, and maintain the health of the ocean that provides us with the goods and services we need and enjoy.
The work and research conducted under the National Ocean Policy supports tens of millions of jobs, which in turn generate billions of dollars for our coastal communities. The National Ocean Policy improves government efficiency and decision outcomes by bringing a variety of government agencies together at a single table. The planning and coordination done according to this policy involves stakeholders in the policy-making process, helping to produce relevant policies supported across sectors. This policy also balances the needs of a variety of interests, ensuring that the fishing industry and working waterfronts are preserved while new energy businesses and other economic sectors are developed.
The National Ocean Policy helps to ensure that our resources, our culture, our history, and the economic vitality of our communities are fully considered in decisions concerning our oceans.
I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the wise stewardship of the oceans and our ocean economy by supporting the Lowenthal amendment.
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