The National Ocean Policy Coalition supports the development and implementation of a sound, balanced ocean policy that recognizes and enhances the critical role that our oceans, coastal areas, and marine and terrestrial ecosystems play in our nation’s economy, national security, culture, health, and well-being while conserving the natural resources and marine habitat of our ocean and coastal regions for current and future generations. Such a policy should adhere to and respect the long-held principle of multiple use of our public lands and oceans without exclusionary zoning, and should focus on enriching our understanding of the resources and benefits oceans can provide to our nation in order to facilitate well-informed decision-making grounded in sound science and research.
To be effective, any national ocean policy must specifically:
- Respect the statutory authority, mandates, and administrative processes of federal, state, tribal, and local entities in managing resources and activities under their jurisdiction, recognizing that exclusive decision-making impacting the oceans and public lands must be consistent with federal law, governed through existing authorities, and not ceded to one entity;
- Enhance commercial and recreational activities, such as oil and gas and minerals development, maritime commerce, commercial fishing, recreational fishing and boating, agriculture, and tourism, that depend on our oceans and public lands and their resources that benefit our nation;
- Actively solicit and reflect the input, feedback, and consensus of both existing and potential future user group communities, including but not limited to compliance with administrative procedural requirements for public engagement, in order to ensure the formulation of well-defined goals and actions in a manner that reflects the collective input of public and private sector stakeholders and consistency with national policies; and
- Proceed under a transparent and fair process that is not influenced by actual or perceived conflicts of interest