Group Says Urgency, Investment and Holistic Planning Needed to Protect Arctic
WASHINGTON – Oceana today applauded the National Ocean Council’s (NOC) new plan to better manage our oceans and coasts. Specifically, the NOC Policy Draft Implementation Plan focuses on nine objectives to address some of the most pressing challenges facing our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes, including the dramatic changes occurring in the Arctic.
“Healthy oceans and coasts are critical to the nation’s economy and are essential to public health and national security,” said Corry Westbrook, federal policy director at Oceana. “This draft plan includes more than 50 actions the Federal Government will take to improve the health of all our oceans and coasts.
Oceana also applauded the NOC for their leadership and vision in recognizing the importance of the Arctic. With rapid climate change and development on the Arctic’s doorstep, Oceana encourages the NOC to move forward with a greater sense of urgency and investment as it works to implement better science and create a holistic oil spill response plan.
“The NOC took a critical step forward today to address rapid climate change and development in the Arctic,” said Susan Murray, senior director of the Pacific. “We don’t know enough about this remote region to make informed decisions about development. This draft plan emphasizes the need for more science and better infrastructure to ensure that the Arctic people and environment are protected. We encourage the government to build on this draft plan and make the necessary investment to attain benefits from this region for generations to come.”
Created after the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, the NOC was tasked with using the lessons learned from the spill and how much we rely on healthy and resilient ocean and coastal ecosystems in our daily lives. They were also tasked with implementing a comprehensive, integrated, science-based approach that would lead the way to sustainably managing our oceans resources.
“Oceana urges the Obama administration to continue on this path towards creating a holistic management framework for the Arctic that ensures that industrial activities will only be expanded if they are proven not to harm the health of Arctic ecosystems or subsistence,” said Murray.