US Ocean Policy

Listen to W2O's own Peter Neill discuss
changing US Ocean Policy on World Ocean Radio


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

The Consortium for Ocean Leadership represents 95 of the leading public and private ocean research education institutions, aquaria and industry with the mission to advance research, education and sound ocean policy. Ocean Leadership shapes the future of ocean science and technology through discovery, understanding and action, providing expertise in managing, coordinating, and facilitating scientific programs and partnerships; influencing sound ocean policy; and educating the next generation of ocean leaders.


The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative 

Oceans and coasts are severely threatened, domestically and around the world. The Joint Initiative's primary goal is to accelerate the pace of change that results in meaningful ocean policy reform. Led by Admiral James D. Watkins (U.S. Navy, Ret.) and The Honorable Leon E. Panetta, the Joint Initiative brings extraordinary expertise, perspective, and diversity of interests to the ocean policy dialogue.

The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, a combination of the Pew Oceans Commission and the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy The Joint Initiative works with people and organizations at the national, regional, state, and local levels to build durable support for ocean policy reform at all levels of decision making. Through its work the Joint Initiative seeks to expand the collective understanding of the threats facing our oceans and to enable actions that address them. The shared commitment to achieving a coherent and coordinated national ocean policy is grounded in a firm belief that healthy and vibrant ocean and coastal ecosystems are crucial to sustained economic and environmental well-being, public health, and standard of living, both now and in the future.

It is the view of the Joint Ocean Commission that the United States must move toward ecosystem-based management, balancing the long-term health and sustainability of the ecosystem while also supporting economic prosperity. Doing so will require the nation's leaders to take action to reform ocean governance, enhance the role of science in making management decisions, increase our commitment to education, and adequately fund ocean and coastal programs.


Report: Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force:
Final Recommendations
July, 2010

Final recommendations are now available from the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, led by White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley. This task force consisted of 24 senior-level officials from Administration agencies, departments, and offices. The report provides proposals for a comprehensive national approach to uphold our stewardship responsibilities and ensure accountability for our actions.

This report provides proposals for a comprehensive national approach to uphold our stewardship responsibilities and ensure accountability for our actions. Additionally, the report outlines a more balanced, productive and sustainable approach to our ocean resources.


Report:  Changing Oceans, Changing World (PDF)
April, 2009

Ocean Policy Priorities for a New Administration and Congress: Recommendations from the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative

America is a nation intrinsically connected to and immensely reliant upon our oceans. In fact, our economy, national security, environment, recreation and health are all dramatically affected by our coasts and oceans. Despite their importance to our everyday lives and well-being, however, we have been neglecting our oceans for decades and ignoring the growing threats from climate change and pollution.

The new administration must lead Congress and the states toward immediate action and real solutions to the challenges facing our coasts and Great Lakes, reestablishing the United States as the preeminent steward of ocean health and vitality... More...