U.S. Ocean Commission Calls for Action to Save Seas

Our oceans are in trouble and we need to do something about it. This was the conclusion of the first comprehensive review of U.S. ocean policy in 35 years, released today by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. The presidential commission spent 2.5 years studying coastal areas, the Great Lakes, and 4.4 million square miles of ocean, an area considerably larger than all 50 states combined. Among the more than 250 recommendations in the commission’s nearly 500-page draft report is the creation of a $4 billion Ocean Policy Trust Fund, to be paid for by oil and gas royalties, the formation of a cabinet-level National Ocean Council, the design of a system of marine education for kids, and a doubling of funds for federal marine research. A final version of the report will be passed along to Congress and the White House later this year.