On June 12, 2009, President Obama issued a Memorandum outlining a new national oceans policy and establishing an Administration Task Force under the White House Council on Environmental Quality to develop recommendations that include: (1) a national oceans policy, (2) a framework for oceans policy coordination, (3) a policy implementation strategy, and (4) a framework for coastal and marine spatial planning.
The Task Force then issued two interim reports.
The first was an Interim Report addressing the first three items issued on September 10, 2009. That report recommended the creation of a Policy Coordination Framework for policy coordination between federal, state, tribal, local and regional authorities for the development of ocean policy. It called for the establishment of a National Ocean Council to, at the direction of the President, implement national ocean policy, advise the President on matters concerning its implementation, direct the administrative functions within federal agencies, implement policy recommendations and resolve disputes.
The second report, “Interim Framework for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning,” was issued on December 10, 2009. It advocates using Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) as a tool for determining which activities should take place in various sectors of our nations coastal and marine areas. It lays forth recommendations for establishing regional planning bodies with authority to establish regional coastal and marine spatial plans over nine regional planning areas.
The Task Force issued Final Recommendations on July 19, 2010 that were adopted by Executive Order 13547, which established the National Ocean Policy and National Ocean Council, incorporated Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning and eight other national priority objectives into the new policy, and directed applicable federal entities to implement the policy as set forth in the Executive Order and in the Final Recommendations and subsequent guidance from the NOC.
On January 13, 2012, the National Ocean Council released the National Ocean Policy Draft Implementation Plan, which included proposed actions for federal entities to take to implement the policy.