Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Center for American Progress Joins Ocean Justice Forum in Announcing Platform
Press Release

RELEASE: Center for American Progress Joins Ocean Justice Forum in Announcing Platform

Washington, D.C. — Today, as a co-leader of the Ocean Justice Forum, the Center for American Progress is joining 17 other grassroots and national nonprofit organizations from across the United States to unveil the Ocean Justice Platform. The platform is a groundbreaking, forward-looking, consensus-based policy proposal that envisions what a just ocean future should look like in coastal communities across the country.

“The world is seeing in real time the disastrous effects climate change is having on coastal communities of color,” said Miriam Goldstein, senior director for Conservation Policy and senior fellow at CAP and Ocean Justice Forum Steering Committee member. “Without working hand in hand with the people and communities most affected, we can’t fully leverage the power of the ocean to address the climate crisis. The Ocean Justice Forum hopes that this platform encourages policymakers to envision and create a more just and equitable ocean and climate future.”

The platform establishes what is needed to confront deep-rooted inequity and sets clear principles and policy priorities to guide policymakers’ approach to just and equitable ocean policy:

  • Protect the ocean and the benefits it provides for all. A healthy ocean provides communities with economic opportunities, recreation, cultural and spiritual practices, and more. Policies to protect and restore ocean health, such as the 30×30 initiative to protect 30 percent of U.S. lands and ocean by 2030, and other efforts must include the perspectives of ocean justice communities and provide equitable access to healthy coastlines.
  • Alleviate the disproportionate burden of pollution on ocean justice communities. Pollution from fossil fuels, agricultural runoff, plastics, and more disproportionately affect ocean justice communities. Policymakers must hold polluting industries accountable while also reducing and removing pollutants.
  • Promote an economy that sustains the ocean and communities that rely on it. A just ocean economy must prioritize people over corporations and uplift communities with family-sustaining jobs. It’s on policymakers to include communities in decision-making and ensure they can support their historic and traditional ways of life.
  • Uplift justly sourced renewable energy from the ocean. The ocean has more to offer than damaging fossil fuels. It’s time to stop taxpayer support of offshore oil and gas that has harmed ocean justice communities, eliminate port emissions, and transition to justly sourced renewable energy.
  • Prioritize community social cohesion in disaster response and adaptation investments. For too long, ocean justice communities have not had adequate support from the federal government as they face rising tides and stronger storms. Policymakers must strengthen planning, provide resources to minimize expected impacts, and increase investments in emergency response to help communities recover so that they have the resources and support necessary to make their own short- and long-term decisions.

Click here to access the Ocean Justice Platform.

Definition of ocean justice 

Ocean justice exists at the intersection of social inclusion, ocean stewardship, and justice. It harnesses a power shift advancing the voices, full participation, and leadership of historically excluded peoples and Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) communities in ocean decision-making, ensures meaningful and equitable engagement of all communities, and delivers equal access to healthy and prospering shorelines and oceans for all.

The Ocean Justice Forum 

The Ocean Justice Forum (OJF) is an initiative co-led by Azul, the Center for American Progress, Taproot Earth, and Urban Ocean Lab. The Ocean Justice Forum convened leaders from 18 environmental justice, community, Indigenous, and national nonprofit organizations to develop a consensus-based federal ocean policy platform that promotes racial, climate, environmental, and economic justice.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org.