Oceans 21: The Oceans Conservation, Education, and National Strategy for the 21st Century Act

By Sheril Kirshenbaum

MEMORANDUM

From:  Sheril Kirshenbaum
Cc:
Date:
Re:  Oceans 21: The Oceans Conservation, Education, and National Strategy for the 21st Century Act

Oceans 21: The Oceans Conservation, Education, and National Strategy for the 21st Century Act

Background

  • Oceans-21 was introduced by Congressman Sam Farr (D-Ca,17th), who is a co-chair of the bipartisan House Ocean Caucus, made up of over 50 members who represent coastal areas.
  • Joined on the bill by fellow caucus members, Congressmen Tom Allen (D- ME), Wayne Gilchrest (R- MD), and Jim Saxton (R-NJ).
  • The purpose of the Bill is to provide better ocean management and prioritize healthy oceans and coasts.
  • Oceans 21 would implement key recommendations of the Congressionally mandated U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the report of the nonprofit Pew Oceans Commission.
  • First introduced in the 108th, the bill has now been revised based on input from the oceans and fishing communities.

Bill

  • Unify ocean management under a national oceans policy to protect, maintain and restore marine ecosystem health – the keystone of ocean stewardship.
  • Authorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This federal agency was created in 1970 by executive order of President Richard Nixon, but it has never been authorized by Congress.
  • Provide $1.3 billion annually to the development and implementation of ecosystem plans that solve regionally-relevant priority problems by establishing an Oceans and Great Lakes Conservation Trust Fund. This builds upon existing regional initiatives to act as a clearinghouse for federal, state, and local governments to address management needs at an ecosystem scale.
  • Recommit the nation to ocean science and education to better inform management decisions and the general public.

*Latest Major Action: *4/26/2007 House committee/subcommittee actions.
Status: Subcommittee Hearings Held.

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