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A Voice for Our Ocean

STATEMENT: Ocean exploration must not become catalyst for reckless ocean exploitation

WASHINGTON, D.C.The following statement was issued by Janis Searles Jones (@InVeritas_Jones), CEO of Ocean Conservancy in response to the White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) and Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) release of new strategies and recommendations to advance ocean exploration on June 11, 2020:

“Ocean Conservancy supports the investment in research and the scientific call to action announced by NOAA and federal partners. This national strategy, if implemented properly and in order to answer critical conservation and scientific questions has the potential to be a major force for good for the health of our ocean.

“These advances in science are critically needed as climate change impacts the ocean and our coastal communities - but this announcement must be evaluated against the administration’s otherwise appalling record on ocean conservation.

“Just one week ago, the Trump administration decided to roll back basic environmental protections, eliminate opportunities for public participation in decision-making that are critical to the success of this strategy, and strip protections from New England Marine National Monument. The failure to protect the ocean today will ripple out well into the future with dangerous consequences for us all.

 “The new national strategy outlines a decade-long commitment that has the potential to provide a vast amount of information on our ocean that can support biodiversity, conservation and management. It must not be the catalyst or motivation to rush recklessly into ocean exploitation.

 “As this work unfolds, Ocean Conservancy encourages the administration to build strong partnerships with the ocean science community and universities, states, Tribes, and regional ocean partnerships. There must be a transparent and inclusive process to ensure that implementation and available data from these scientific efforts are available to the public.”

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Ocean Conservancy experts are available for interviews upon request.                                             


NOTES TO EDITOR:

Announced on June 11, 2020, the strategies and recommendations are:
  • MAPPING THE COAST OF ALASKA: NOAA, the State of Alaska, and Alaska Mapping Executive Committee have developed a 10-year strategy for mapping the Arctic and Sub-Arctic Shoreline and Nearshore of Alaska.
  •  PROMOTING EFFICIENT PERMITTING: The OPC has developed recommendations to increase the efficiency of the permitting processes for ocean research, mapping and characterization activities across Federal agencies.
                                                                                                                                            
Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit oceanconservancy.org, or follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.