Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The West Coast Agrees to Protect the Oceans!

FINALLY! A little something something for the oceans....read on...
Governor Gregoire, Governor Kulongoski, and Governor Schwarzenegger announced the release of their landmark Action Plan for the West Coast Governors' Agreement on Ocean Health on Tuesday, July 29, 2008. We've been waiting since 2006!

On September 18, 2006 the Governors of California, Oregon and Washington announced the West Coast Governors' Agreement on Ocean Health. The Agreement launched a new, proactive regional collaboration to protect and manage the ocean and coastal resources along the entire West Coast, as called for in the recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission. 

The Agreement seeks to advance the goals of:
Clean coastal waters and beaches; 
Healthy ocean and coastal habitats; 
Effective ecosystem-based management; 
Reduced impacts of offshore development; 
Increased ocean awareness and literacy among the region's citizens; and
Expanded ocean and coastal scientific information, research, and monitoring;
Sustainable economic development of coastal communities. 

The Agreement also underscores the importance of managing activities that affect our oceans on an ecosystem basis. That is, managing human activities and their impact on ocean resources in a way that accounts for the relationships among all ecosystem components, including people and other species and the environment in which we all live. 
The Agreement directs staff of the three Governors to take certain immediate actions, and to develop a more extensive action plan within one year. The three states prepared a discussion paper to guide public input on actions for consideration during development of the action plan and sponsored a series of meetings to obtain public and stakeholder input on the Agreement. The public comment period on the draft Action Plan is now closed. Thank you for your input. The draft Action Plan was released on October 19, 2007 and public comments were accepted through December 1, 2007. The Governors released the final Action Plan in July 2008. View the press release here.  Via letters to the House and Senate, the Governors have request $5 million to support implementation of the Action Plan.  

Maybe the Oceans will catch a break by 2030!

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