Federal Government Releases Action Plan to Address Ocean Challenges
Draft requests comments on actions agencies will take to improve the health of oceans, coasts, Great Lakes
To address the most pressing challenges facing ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources, the federal government today released a National Ocean Policy action plan.
The draft requests comments on actions the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other federal agencies on the National Ocean Council will take to improve the health of the ocean, coasts and Great Lakes, which support tens of millions of jobs, contribute trillions of dollars a year to the national economy and are essential to public health and national security.
The draft action plan will ensure that the federal government targets its resources to more effectively and efficiently deliver results for Americans, including greater predictability for ocean users and better access to the latest science and information related to ocean health.
The actions reflect ideas and input from industry, conservation groups, local officials, the public and other stakeholders who provided critical feedback to the National Ocean Council through two public comment periods and 12 regional listening sessions.
Ocean and coastal resources are under pressure from growing and often competing uses, such as national security, recreation, shipping, energy production and commercial fishing, as well as from pollution, resource extraction and climate change.
The draft Implementation Plan focuses on public-private partnerships, promoting efficiency and collaboration across sectors, managing resources with an integrated approach and making available and using the best science and information on ocean health.
The draft plan outlines key milestones, identifies responsible federal agencies and indicates the expected timeframe for completion of Implementation Plan actions.
The plan makes it a priority to:
Under the plan, NSF will play a major role in supporting the priority objectives of the National Ocean Policy and its action plan.
Examples of NSF contributions include:
To read the draft Implementation Plan and to submit comments, please visit the National Ocean Council website.
The National Ocean Policy, established by Executive Order 13547 on July 19th, 2010, provides that federal agencies will "ensure the protection, maintenance, and restoration of the health of ocean, coastal and Great Lakes ecosystems and resources, enhance the sustainability of ocean and coastal economies, preserve our maritime heritage, support sustainable uses and access, provide for adaptive management to enhance our understanding of and capacity to respond to climate change and ocean acidification, and coordinate with our national security and foreign policy interests."
It also called for the creation of an interagency National Ocean Council to oversee the policy's implementation.
For more information about the National Ocean Council, please visit their website.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
Useful NSF Web Sites: