President Obama has issued a memorandum calling for the creation of a temporary Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force led by the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to develop a unifying framework for responsible development and ecosystem management for the nation’s oceans, coasts and the Great Lakes. Specifically, within 90 days the Task Force must develop recommendations for a national ocean, coastal and Great Lakes policy that addresses coastal economies, climate change and adaptive management while prioritizing resource stewardship, as well as a framework for policy coordination and an implementation strategy that identifies and prioritizes policy objectives. Within 180 days, the Task Force must develop a recommended framework for comprehensive, ecosystem-based coastal and marine spatial planning that addresses “conservation, economic activity, user conflict, and sustainable use of ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources….”


In addition to the Chair of CEQ, the Task Force will be composed of senior officials from the Departments of State, Defense, the Interior, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Commerce, Labor, Transportation, Energy, and Homeland Security and Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Management and Budget, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Intelligence, Office of Science and Technology Policy, National Science Foundation, and Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as several Presidential assistants and an employee designated by the Vice President.

For additional information, please contact my colleague Cherise Oram.