Healthy Oceans Blog

Healthy Oceans Coalition Thanks President Obama

Photo credit: The Atlantic

Dear Mr. President,

On behalf of our organizations and their millions of members and activists, we thank you, the National Ocean Council, and the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force for developing the National Ocean Policy (NOP) to ensure the protection, maintenance and restoration of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. The NOP is both visionary and yet grounded in the decade of bipartisan work to protect our nation’s maritime heritage and ensure healthy oceans for future generations. We know our ocean is an increasingly busy place, which can put the resources we rely on for jobs, food, and recreation at risk. We thank you for your trailblazing efforts, especially in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, to ensure our nation balances protecting ocean ecosystems with our reliance on those very ecosystems to sustain us.

We appreciate the emphasis that the NOP places on inclusive decision-making and bringing diverse viewpoints to the table. Under the directive of the NOP, state and federal agencies, fisheries managers, Native American tribes, and coastal communities have a platform to govern our waterways in a new, transparent, and proactive way – together. Using the NOP as a catalyst for collaboration, goal setting, and decision-making, the regions of the West Coast and Pacific Islands were able to stand up Regional Planning Bodies while the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic developed the first-ever action plans to inform and guide the protection and sustainable development of our Nation’s oceans and coasts.

We are proud of the work that has been done to protect, maintain, and restore the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes over the past eight years and vow to continue blazing a path of innovation and inclusion in ocean management and remain strong in our role as watch dogs and implementers of sound ocean policy.

During your time in office you were an ally to the ocean, inspired many coastal conservation groups and communities to take action, and protected more of our ocean than any other president in U.S. history, and for that, we extend our sincerest gratitude. We thank you, Sir, for your eight years of service, wish you the best in your future endeavors, and look forward to continuing your ocean legacy.


Sarah Winter Whelan 
Ocean Policy Program Director
American Littoral Society

Jenna Valente
Healthy Oceans Coalition Coordinator
American Littoral Society

Lindsay Hirt, M.S.
Marine biologist
Captain John Whale Watching and Fishing

Kristen Hoss
Executive Director
Youth Environmental Alliance

Christopher Chin
Executive Director
The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education

Zachary Plopper
Conservation Director

Nicole Twohig
Development Coordinator
Quahog Bay Conservancy

Pete Stauffer
Environmental Director
Surfrider Foundation

Cheryl Nenn
Milwaukee Riverkeeper

Katherine O’Dea
Executive Director
Save Our Shores

Michael Stocker
Ocean Conservation Research

Vicki Nichols Goldstein
Founder and Director
Colorado Ocean Coalition

Stuart Coleman
Hawaii Manager
Surfrider Foundation

Sheryl Gilmore
Executive Director/President
Acadia Institute of Oceanography

Linda Krop
Chief Counsel
Environmental Defense Center

Doug Fetterly
Chair, Marine Action Team
Sierra Club

Alison Chase
Senior Policy Analyst
Natural Resources Defense Council

Dr. Thomas Armbruster
Founding President
SandyHook  SeaLife  Foundation

Bill Mott
The Ocean Project

Tedd Saunders
Co-Owner and CSO
The Saunders Hotel Group

Note: If you or your organization is interested in adding your signature to this letter, please contact our Healthy Oceans Coalition Coordinator