Center for American Progress

Congress Must Make Biden’s Vision for the Oceans Come True
In the News

Congress Must Make Biden’s Vision for the Oceans Come True

Jean Flemma, Miriam Goldstein, and Ayana Elizabeth Johnson write that Congress must support and invest in the Biden administration's ambitious vision for ocean protections and health.

Ocean conservation was once a goal for Democrats and Republicans alike. In Congress, they collaborated to ensure that U.S. fisheries would be sustainably managed, to protect imperiled marine creatures by banning the use of driftnets and shark finning, and to set aside large areas of the ocean for special protection. While he was president, George H.W. Bush designated six National Marine Sanctuaries, more than during any previous administration, and President Bill Clinton convened America’s first National Oceans Conference. President George W. Bush used the Antiquities Act to establish what was then the largest marine protected area in the world, Papahanaumokuakea, in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. And President Barack Obama quadrupled the extent of protected U.S. waters.

Despite ocean waters warming and sea levels rising, in recent years this bipartisan tradition has waned. Now, the White House has committed to an ambitious economic program with climate action at its center. President Joe Biden and his climate team want to rapidly scale offshore wind-energy production, cut shipping and port emissions, and protect ocean habitats and coastal communities.

The above excerpt was originally published in Bloomberg. Click here to view the full article.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.

Authors

Jean Flemma

Miriam Goldstein

Senior Director for Conservation Policy and Senior Fellow

Ayana Elizabeth Johnson