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Friday, October 7, 2011

Why We Need a National Ocean Policy

This is a great article on Think Progress.  You will want to read the entire article, and there is the link: we will share some of it here.

Interesting, that some states--including Mass RI, have taken the lead in "ocean zoning" which, as you will read, structures the best possible use of our oceans--throughout the world--as economic anchors.  And, as we've been talking about regularly, our natural resources are the foundations of our financial infrastructure.

Take a look at some of this story: "Contrary to the GOP efforts to portray the National Ocean Policy as a hyper-regulatory economic anchor, the principles contained in the policy actually pave the way for a more efficient, forward-thinking approach that will benefit both new and existing uses of ocean space. SOURCE: 
by Michael Conathan and Kiley Kroh
Last year, President Barack Obama announced the first National Ocean Policy and the creation of a National Ocean Council tasked with its implementation. Contrary to attempts by House Republicans to color the policy as restrictive “ocean zoning,” a comprehensive, collaborative approach to managing our ocean resources will help prevent multi-use conflicts, increase efficiency, and ensure ocean economies continue to support American jobs and a high quality of life. The National Ocean Council should be given the necessary support to implement the National Ocean Policy for the benefit of American jobs, economic growth, and security.
A keystone recommendation of the National Ocean Policy, or NOP, is support for implementing a process known as coastal and marine spatial planning, or CMSP. The concept behind CMSP recognizes that as new potential uses of ocean space become increasingly viable, our exclusive economic zone—the area of ocean space extending out to 200 miles from our shores—will grow more crowded. Thus, in order to ensure efficient prioritization of these uses and to reduce conflicts, it makes sense to solicit input from stakeholders upfront rather than allowing a first-come, first-served land grab mentality to dictate how our invaluable ocean resources will be managed."
And this  

Marine spatial planning is already working

  • Several states, including MassachusettsRhode Island, and Oregon, have already implemented CMSP at the state level. They have taken proactive steps to identify areas most suitable for various commercial and recreational uses of ocean space, including fishing, energy development, sand and gravel mining, shipping traffic, and other activities. These efforts ensure the relative benefits of each action are considered and prioritized to meet economic, environmental, security, and social goals.
  • In addition to their in-state work, Rhode Island and Massachusetts cooperated on alandmark agreement for the development of offshore wind energy. Then Rhode Island governor, Republican Don Carcieri, said, “The shared waters between Rhode Island and Massachusetts hold the key to the future of offshore wind developments along the East Coast and the country. It is in the best interest for both states to work together to expedite the federal permitting process through this collaborative effort. We share mutual interests in developing offshore wind projects, bringing greater economic development activity and economic security to the region.”     

We'd love to hear your comments, and will follow up with a show on this.
Enjoy the weekend, and look back for our weekend blog on Saturday or Sunday.

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