From the President’s Office – 6/7/2012
This week was Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW) here in Washington. From Tuesday through Friday, panelists and speakers discussed the ocean’s role in driving the nation’s economy, and how our culture has been, and will continue to be, significantly impacted by the ocean. The Secretary of Commerce, John Bryson, opened the meeting with a presentation emphasizing the ocean economy. Noteworthy speakers included Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), who focused on the importance of ratifying the Law of the Sea Treaty, and Marcia McNutt, Director of USGS, who gave her views on how current changes to our ocean will affect the future of this nation. On Wednesday, I joined my fellow Joint Ocean Commission Initiative Leadership Council members on a panel to present the 2012 United States Ocean Policy Report Card. This year’s report card focused on the progress of implementing the National Ocean Policy. While the Commission gave the Administration and Congress an A- for supporting regional partnerships, they received a C in the areas of research, science and education programs and a D- for the funding of ocean science, education and management for the fiscal year 13 budget. The report also outlines what actions need to be enacted to improve the grades. Overall, I feel the effort was well worth it, and I encourage you to have a look at the report card, which can be found here.
It certainly has been a busy and productive week with a number of excellent conversations concerned with promoting sound, science-based ocean policy. I wish you an enjoyable June weekend.