PISCO PI Mark Carr testifies to Obama Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force on Marine Spatial Planning

PISCO Principal Investigator Dr. Mark H. Carr

PISCO Principal Investigator Mark H. Carr was recently invited to submit comments to President Obama’s Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force (IOPTF), for the second Ocean Policy Task Force Public Meeting in San Francisco, California on September 17, 2009. The task force, led by White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, consists of senior-level officials from Administration agencies, departments, and offices. 

The IOPTF was established on June 12, by President Barack Obama to develop within 90 days recommendations for:

  1. A national policy for U.S. oceans, coasts and the Great Lakes
  2. A framework for improved federal policy coordination to improve stewardship of these resources
  3. An implementation strategy to meet the objectives of a national ocean policy
  4. To develop within 180 days, (by December 9, 2009), a recommended framework for coastal and marine spatial planning

Dr. Carr’s testimony illustrated the great need to engage scientists, stakeholders and policy makers to create marine spatial planning policies that will be effective and respected by all. By consciously planning how and where different ocean uses will occur, conflicting and complementary uses can be identified and trade-offs between these uses can be assessed during planning stages of marine policies. A holistic approach to marine spatial planning such as this would help ensure the gains of policies such as California's Marine Life Protection Act are not jeopardized by other activities such as water pollution, coastal development, or emerging energy uses.

Currently the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force have issued an Interim Report after their first 90 days for a 30-day public review and comment period that provides proposals for a comprehensive national approach to uphold our stewardship responsibilities and ensure accountability for our actions. 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 Sutley.


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