U.S. ocean policy endangers world's oceans

In a Thursday article, Associated Press (AP) reported The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative gave "the Congress, Bush administration and governors a near-failing grade for not moving quickly enough to address hundreds of their recommendations." The Initiative's evaluation of U.S. ocean policy addressed the urgently needed reforms and funding support to protect the country's oceans and coasts recommended by two major national commissions - the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission.

In a news release, Admiral James D. Watkins, co-chair of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, said, "This Report Card highlights our concerns with the slow rate of progress toward implementing the necessary reforms...to make fundamental changes in ocean policy, before it is too late."

The report acknowledged the progress made in several regions, including Hawaii, however, poor financial support and "the lack of progress in implementing new measures" rated national ocean policy a dismal overall D+. Subject areas included national ocean governance reform (D+); regional and state ocean governance reform (B-); international leadership (F); fisheries management reform (C+); and new funding (F).

The U.S. Ocean Policy Report Card
(available in pdf, 376KB, from The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative)


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