Posted on January 20, 2017 by Jenna Valente
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
Healthy Oceans Coalition Coordinator
American Littoral Society
Lindsay Hirt, M.S.
Captain John Whale Watching and Fishing
Youth Environmental Alliance
The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education
Quahog Bay Conservancy
Save Our Shores
Ocean Conservation Research
Vicki Nichols Goldstein
Founder and Director
Colorado Ocean Coalition
Acadia Institute of Oceanography
Environmental Defense Center
Chair, Marine Action Team
Senior Policy Analyst
Natural Resources Defense Council
Dr. Thomas Armbruster
SandyHook SeaLife Foundation
The Ocean Project
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