Thursday, July 22, 2010

National Ocean Policy - O My Giddy Aunt

The Obama administration has created a National Ocean Policy. Nice! It's unclear exactly what it means, or how much punch it packs, but it sounds good. Some ocean conservation people are already applauding. Others are adopting a wait and see attitude.

Cynical as ever, I'd place myself in the latter. It was odd that there wasn’t much fanfare from the Obama administration on this one. Makes me wonder how much teeth it really has. Then again, the finance reform bill and other things are stealing a lot of the spotlight right now. The language seems overstuffed with punch words, too. Sentences like these sound too good to be true:

"(the policy) will enable a more integrated, comprehensive, ecosystem-based, flexible, and proactive approach to planning and managing sustainable multiple uses across sectors and improve the conservation of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes."

But come on, it's pretty cool that “ecosystem-based” is in there, which is key. Plus “managing sustainable” nearly makes me giddy. I'm that much of an ocean nerd.

So maybe there is reason to celebrate. This could be the yang to BP’s Gulf disaster yin. I’d still like to see a major move toward a renewable energy economy, like the true cost of petroleum reflected at the pumps for starters. But for the writer of a blog about how great the oceans are and how they need more protection, this is at least encouraging news.

Shout out to Obama and the “24 senior-level policy officials” who put this together. The Pew Oceans Commission gets special mention for its solid reports and warnings backed in science that apparently helped get the ball rolling.

See the full press release-like story here from Environmental News Service:

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