National Ocean Policy Coalition Responds To Draft Ocean Action Plan

Proposals Could Create Uncertainty and Damage Economic Recovery

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Ocean Council today released a 118-page draft action plan for implementation of the new National Ocean Policy.  The National Ocean Policy Coalition (NOPC) is concerned that this proposal could create uncertainty and harm economic activity at a time when our economy is struggling to recover.  The document includes 53 federal actions and nearly 300 milestones spanning dozens of federal entities, with 157 milestones proposed to be completed in the next two years.  Highlighting the scope and magnitude of the proposals, the plan itself notes the “complexity of organizing, managing, and implementing the National Ocean Policy.”

In response to the plan’s release, NOPC Executive Director Brent Greenfield issued the following statement:

“Significant concerns remain that the policy is being developed without adequate congressional engagement and consideration of the views of ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, and inland user groups, including commercial and recreational interests.  The plan calls for the establishment of new federal zoning boards and regulations that increase the risk associated with commercial and recreational activities.  As a result, there is significant concern that the individuals and communities that depend on the economic contributions from these activities could be significantly harmed due to additional new layers of bureaucracy, new restrictions on activity, and uncertainty on how to proceed.  Further, it is possible that this effort conflicts with existing federal laws and could result in actions that are contrary to the legislative intent of applicable governing statutes.

We, of course, look forward to submitting formal and comprehensive comments on the draft plan and constructively engaging the Administration to ensure a balanced policy outcome that appropriately acknowledges the role that all uses of the ocean have on the economic and social fabric of our nation, and the existing authorities that govern them.”


NOPC is an organization of diverse interests united to ensure that the implementation of the new National Ocean Policy is done in such a way that it is helpful rather than harmful to the National interest, including the interests of commercial and recreational users of the oceans and marine-related natural resources.  NOPC membership in particular represents entities and sectors that support tens of millions of jobs and contribute trillions of dollars to the U.S. economy.

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