Obama seeks national policy for U.S. waterways

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Obama Administration officials released the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force Interim Report for a 30-day public review and comment period.

The report provides proposals for a comprehensive national approach to ensure accountability for the health of the nation's oceans, coastal areas and Great Lakes.

"This interim report represents a wide spectrum of views and considerations, not just from within the federal government but from members of the public, local officials, stakeholders and experts from coast to coast," said Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

"It delivers on President Obama's request for recommendations that will move this country towards a more robust national policy for our oceans, coasts and the Great Lakes, and recognizes that we have a responsibility to protect the oceans and coasts for the benefit of current and future generations," she added.

The Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force was created June 12 by Presidential Memorandum. The memorandum charged the task force with developing recommendations that include a national policy for our oceans, coasts and the Great Lakes, a framework for improved federal policy coordination, and an implementation strategy to meet the objectives of a national ocean policy within 90 days. Within 180 days, the task force is charged with developing a recommended framework for effective coastal and marine spatial planning.

Click here for the full report. A final report is due out later this year.

Click here for the full release.

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