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The National Ocean Policy

Ocean-dependent businesses look to ocean planning to make the most of marine resources, explains the author.

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idea_bulbWhat do lobstermen, subsea cable installers, offshore wind developers, port operators, and marine scientists have in common? Brought together by their sea-bound livelihoods, representatives from this diverse cross section of coastal industries are visiting with members of Congress and the Obama administration tomorrow to endorse and defend the remarkable progress made in recent years to ensure the future prosperity of their ocean-dependent businesses.

These ocean stakeholders see their futures tied to the concept of ocean planning, a process in which they are guaranteed a seat at the table when local, regional, and federal government agencies make management decisions about ocean resources and public access. Some coastal states—such as Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Washington, and Oregon—have raced to the lead in implementing ocean planning and are already reaping economic benefits. In 2010, President Barack Obama, through an executive order commonly known as the National Ocean Policy, directed the array of federal agencies with partial ocean jurisdiction to manage marine resources and spaces in a more coordinated fashion that supports the priorities and ocean planning efforts led by coastal states.

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