Washington, D.C.—Today, the Center for American Progress announces the recently formed Public Lands Project and Ocean Program. These projects build on the Center’s long history of working to advance a more sustainable economy—one that promotes environmental protection, energy security, and economic prosperity.
“By folding these new projects into our existing work on energy, climate, and economic policy, we will now be able to draw the critical connection between how we use our land and water, and how we grow our economy overall,” said John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress. “We are pleased to welcome Christy Goldfuss and Michael Conathan to spearhead our increased efforts in this realm, during a time when job creation, energy security, and responsible environmental stewardship are at the forefront of policymaking efforts in Congress.”
The Public Lands Project has been designed to build support for policies that protect the continually diminishing wide-open spaces found on America’s public lands. It will focus on efforts to site renewable energy projects on public lands and policies such as the Antiquities Act, Wild Lands, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The burgeoning population, tourism industry, and energy development all rely on the resources provided by the few remaining pristine places that are protected by these policies.
The Ocean Program will advance progressive ocean policies by seeking a balance between environmental protection and economic activity in ocean and coastal regions. The program will concentrate on the future of sustainable fisheries, offshore energy development, and the Obama administration’s efforts to implement the executive order establishing a national ocean policy and convening an interagency National Ocean Council.
The rising demand for energy security, from domestic and renewable sources, coupled with the economic opportunities that our natural landscape and oceans provide, necessitates stalwart efforts to promote sound management of all of the existing and future strains on the quality of America’s land and water, upon which so much depends.
Christy Goldfuss, Public Lands Project Director at the Center for American Progress, previously served as a legislative staffer for the House Committee on Natural Resources where she focused on policies and legislation affecting the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. She began her work on lands issues as the federal preservation advocate for Environment America and in communities neighboring public lands as a television reporter in California and Nevada.
Michael Conathan, Director of Ocean Policy at the Center, worked for five years on the staff of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard. He oversaw enactment of multiple key pieces of ocean legislation, including the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act, the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observing Act, the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act, and the Shark Conservation Act.
To speak to Christy Goldfuss or Michael Conathan, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.481.8181 or [email protected].