Together, the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act form the bedrock of environmental and public health policies in America.
But what about oceans? Oceans are the blue heart of our planet. They keep us alive, generating much of the oxygen we breathe and impacting climate and weather patterns. Healthy oceans are a vital part of a healthy U.S. economy. Recreation, tourism, and fishing, which depend on clean beaches, clean water and abundant fish and wildlife, generate billions of dollars for the nation each year.
In 2010 the National Ocean Policy was established by executive order to help protect our oceans. The landmark policy — for the first time ever — calls on more than 20 federal agencies to coordinate their work to ensure that our oceans will be healthy for this and future generations.
The Draft National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan is one of the key deliverables of the National Ocean Policy. The plan tackles the major threats facing our oceans, such as ocean acidification, habitat loss, water quality and pollution. It is a huge step forward in ocean protection.
Thousands of you commented on the first outlines of the plan in 2011. This latest draft responds to many of the issues we raised, but it needs to more clearly state the goal of the government’s work — to protect, maintain and restore ocean health.
Join the Natural Resources Defense Council and send a message, before the February 27th comment deadline, urging the National Ocean Council to finalize a robust ocean action plan that protects, maintains and restores our oceans’ health.
Additional information: Read NRDC’s Oceans Initiative Director Sarah Chasis’ Switchboard blog to learn more about the new National Ocean Policy.