On Monday, July 19, 2010, the White House Council on Environmental Quality ("CEQ") issued the Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force. The Final Recommendations are the culmination of a process that began on June 12, 2009 when President Obama formed the Task Force and tasked it with developing recommendations to enhance national stewardship of the ocean, coasts, and the Great Lakes and promote the long-term conservation of those resources.
The Final Recommendations will likely be carried over into an Executive Order to be signed by the President, which will establish a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes and create a National Ocean Council to enhance ocean governance and coordination between federal and state agencies. The Final Recommendations also express the Task Force’s unanimous agreement that the United States should acceed to the Convention on the Law of the Sea and ratify its 1994 Implementing Agreement.
The CEQ’s press release is available here. Attorneys at Stoel Rives are reviewing the Final Recommendations and assessing their impact on, among other things, offshore renewable energy development including offshore wind and marine and hydrokinetic projects. Stay tuned for more on this important development.