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Commissions CP


1NC Shell

1NC – Commissions CP

CP Text: The President of the United States should issue an executive order mandating the rejoining of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, tasked with recommending Congressional or Executive solutions to ocean policy problems in the area of

The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative should recommend as an essential component of the National Ocean Policy.

JOCI’s recommendations become policy—solves the AFF

Howe 11—Managing Attorney of the Surfrider Foundation (Angela T., “THE U.S. NATIONAL OCEAN POLICY: ONE SMALL STEP FOR NATIONAL WATERS, BUT WILL IT BE THE GIANT LEAP NEEDED FOR OUR BLUE PLANET?,” Ocean and Coastal Law Journel, LexisNexis)//FJ

The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative (JOCI) resulted from a collaboration between members of the Pew Oceans Commission and [*77] USCOP. n85 JOCI is a bipartisan, collaborative group that aims to "encourage action and monitor progress toward meaningful ocean policy reform." n86 Today, the JOCI Leadership Council is made up of representatives from prominent universities and environmental groups, independent scientists, national security leaders, and representatives from a variety of ocean industries, including fisheries, shipping and energy. n87 JOCI is meant to serve as a resource for policy makers at all levels of government who are interested in pursuing ocean policy reforms consistent with JOCI's recommendations. n88 JOCI leadership is now focused specifically on promoting the establishment and effective implementation of a comprehensive U.S. national ocean policy. n89 In sum, the history of efforts in the United States to reform ocean governance and inform ocean planning, from the work of the Stratton Commission to the recent policy work of the JOCI, has shaped the NOP and continue to influence the future of ocean governance. Specifically, the Pew Oceans Commission's America's Living Oceans: Charting a Course for Sea Change report, n90 as well as JOCI's 2007 An Agenda for Action: Moving Regional Ocean Governance from Theory to Practice, n91 point out the deficiencies in the existing regulatory system, including the lack of mandatory coordination and integration between agencies and across resources. n92 A sector-by-sector approach to ocean governance undermines the siting of potential new and emerging activities. It also fails to provide for special protections of areas that may be found to be biologically significant or have significant value as cultural or recreational resources. Between anticipated uses of ocean and coastal areas for aquaculture, coastal development, liquefied natural gas terminals, desalination plants, wave or wind farm energy facilities, and new unknown developing technologies, there will be a need for regulatory approvals based on a deep understanding of the most apropos [*78] ocean use. n93 Each of these ocean uses "poses the potential to adversely impact both existing uses and ecosystem function[s]." n94 Therefore, it is critical to heed historical knowledge and the analyses of ocean governance issues while planning to manage resources for centuries into the future.


2NC – Solvency [Generic]

Joint Ocean Commission solves best -- provides specific recommendations that strengthen the National Ocean Policy and has credibility.

Joint Ocean Commission 14 (Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, Reports, http://www.jointoceanc

One of the primary goals of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative is to provide unbiased, expert advice on coastal and ocean policy and legislation. One mechanism employed by the Joint Initiative is to issue reports that provide insight and practical action-oriented recommendations on specific approaches and reforms needed to promote ocean health. The following reports and white papers address the Joint Initiative’s priority areas: national ocean governance reform (Charting the Course; America's Ocean Future; Changing Oceans, Changing World; From Sea to Shining Sea), regional and state ocean governance reform (One Coast, One Future; An Agenda for Action), and the links between oceans and climate change (Addressing Oceans and Climate Change in Federal Legislation). Charting the Course: Securing America’s Ocean Future On June 20, 2013, the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative released a report and executive summary entitled Charting the Course: Securing the Future of America’s Oceans, that calls on President Obama and Congress to improve the management of our ocean resources. The report describes specific recommendations for the Administration and Congress that prioritize areas where short-term progress can be readily achieved. The report outlines measures for immediate implementation that focus on four action areas: Enhance the resiliency of coastal communities and ocean ecosystems to dramatic changes underway in our oceans and on our coasts Promote ocean renewable energy development and reinvest in our oceans Support state and regional ocean and coastal priorities Improve Arctic research and management If implemented, these measures will strengthen ocean-dependent economies, protect coastal communities and provide new opportunities for growth in thriving oceans. The Joint Initiative also urges that the Administration and Congress build off of the blueprint set by the National Ocean Policy and make oceans a priority. These recommendations set the stage for a future assessment by the Joint Initiative of progress in implementing actions that will ensure our oceans and coasts are healthy and vibrant to support our future.

JOC key to effective ocean policy

JOC 13 – Joint Ocean Commission, (JOC, “Charting the CourseSecuring the Future of America’s Oceans”, 2013,
The various elements of ocean and coastal ecosystems are closely interconnected, as are the ¶ management authorities governing those elements. For this reason, implementing any of the ¶ recommendations presented in this report would provide benefits to all ocean and coastal ¶ ecosystems and to the many Americans who rely on them for health, wealth, and well-being. ¶ These recommendations present a powerful opportunity to shape the future of our oceans and secure the future of our ocean nation. The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative urges our leaders in the Administration and Congress to seize this opportunity. The challenges we face in managing our oceans effectively also present opportunities for innovation, collaboration, and action. Our oceans are held in the public trust, and we must act together to secure the future of our oceans and the health and wealth of our ocean nation. ¶ This report describes the following recommendations, which are focused on four action areas ¶ the Obama Administration and Congress should implement in the next two to four years: action 1: enhance the resiliency of coastal communities and ocean ecosystems to dramatic changes underway in our oceans and on our coasts¶ recOmmendatiOn 1.1: The Administration and Congress should boost funding and support for programs that protect and restore critical coastal features, such as wetlands, dune systems, mangroves, salt marshes, seagrass beds, and coral reefs, all of which provide valuable services, including buffering against storm surges, purifying water, providing habitat for important species, and offering recreational opportunities. recOmmendatiOn 1.2: The Administration and Congress should provide the support necessary for states and communities to upgrade critical coastal infrastructure, including wastewater and transportation systems, so they are more resilient and able to withstand and ¶ adapt to the impacts of coastal hazards, including extreme weather events, sea-level rise, and ¶ other changes along our coasts.¶ recOmmendatiOn 1.3: The Administration and Congress should provide increased funding and support for ocean science infrastructure and research programs needed to understand the complex and dynamic relationship between the oceans and climate and improve our forecasting capabilities. ¶ recOmmendatiOn 1.4: The Administration and Congress should take actions to measure and assess the emerging threat of ocean acidification, better understand the complex dynamics causing and exacerbating it, work to determine its impact, and develop mechanisms to address the problem.

CP solves best – empirical solvency with the NOP

Migliaccio 14—legal extern at the Vermont Supreme Court; editor of Vermal Journal of Environmental Law; chairman of the Environmental Law Society (Emily, “THE NATIONAL OCEAN POLICY: CAN IT REDUCE MARINE POLLUTION AND STREAMLINE OUR OCEAN BUREAUCRACY?,” Vermont Journal of Environmental Law)

Prior to the release of the Final Implementation Plan, many local and regional leaders, stakeholders, industries and state and federal agencies initiated action in line with the NOP. The Joint Ocean Commission ("JOC") n159 released two "Report Cards," one published in 2011 and one in 2012, assessing the United States' progress since the inception of the NOP. n160 In the most recent Report Card, the JOC grades the progress made on earlier recommendations and on certain areas of implementation, which are divided into five categories: (1) National leadership and support; (2) regional, state, and local leadership and implementation; (3) research, science, and education; (4) funding; and (5) Law of the Sea Convention. n161 This Note only discusses the information in the first four categories because those are relevant for determining the NOP's progress in the marine pollution context. Each is discussed in turn below.

2NC – Solvency [Renewables]

JOC recommendations are best for renewable energy – already recommended offshore wind to Obama

Brooks 13—editor and founder of (Walter, “Joint Ocean Commission Initiative calls on U.S. to promote offshore wind development,” Cape Cod Today, 6/22,

Commission urges Obama Administration, Congress to make a "national investment" in offshore wind The bipartisan Joint Ocean Commission Initiative is calling on the Obama Administration and Congress to make a "national investment" in offshore wind "through adequate and stable financial and tax incentives" to "position us as leaders in an emerging global industry". Their new report, 'Charting The Course, Securing the Future of America's Oceans', states: "The Administration's principles guiding domestic energy development include creating clean energy jobs and technologies, making America more energy independent, and reducing carbon emissions. Renewable energy -- particularly offshore wind energy -- has great potential for pursuing expansion." The context for this policy recommendation the report focuses on is the significant stresses now placed on the ocean ecosystem by pollution, especially climate change, and the urgent need to mitigate those threats. The commission states in part, "Our nation must also promote renewable energy development and return more of the revenues generated by activities on the Outer Continental Shelf to ocean science and management activities."

2NC – Solvency – Commissions

Commissions solve best – expertise

Glassman and Straus 13—*analyst at the Congressional Research Service AND **analyst at the Congressional Research Service (*Matthew Eric AND **Jacob R., “Congressional Commissions: Overview, Structure, and Legislative Considerations,” Congressional Research Service, 1/22,

Congress may choose to establish a commission when legislators and their staffs do not currently have sufficient knowledge or expertise in a complex policy area.22 By assembling experts with backgrounds in particular policy areas to focus on a specific mission, legislators might efficiently obtain insight into complex public policy problems.23

Commissions solve best – consensus building

Glassman and Straus 13—*analyst at the Congressional Research Service AND **analyst at the Congressional Research Service (*Matthew Eric AND **Jacob R., “Congressional Commissions: Overview, Structure, and Legislative Considerations,” Congressional Research Service, 1/22,

Legislators seeking policy changes may be confronted by an array of political interests, some in favor of proposed changes and some against. When these interests clash, the resulting legislation may encounter gridlock in the highly structured political institution of the modern Congress.28 By creating a commission, Congress can place policy debates in a potentially more flexible environment, where congressional and public attention can be developed over time.29

Commissioners agree that we need a new framework for ocean policies

USA Today 4 – “Commission urges new ocean protections and trust fund”, 4/20/2004,

Commissioners spent 2 1/2 years studying coastal areas, the Great Lakes and 4.4 million square miles of ocean — an area nearly a quarter larger than all 50 states combined, because it includes the exclusive economic zone stretching about 200 miles from the continent and Pacific and Atlantic islands.¶ The panel urged new "ecosystem-based" ways of managing that put the needs of nature ahead of political boundaries, while emphasizing that people's needs must also be considered. The commission estimated the cost of all its recommended actions at $1.3 billion the first year, $2.4 billion the second year and $3.2 billion each year after that. But it pointed to annual ocean-related economic activity of $700 billion in goods that ports handle, $50 billion from fishing and trade, $11 billion from cruise ships and passengers — and $25 billion to $40 billion from offshore oil and gas production.¶ "If our report is adopted, the payoff will be great," Watkins said in a video accompanying the report. "It's now obvious that ocean resources are not limitless, nor are ocean waters capable of continual self-cleansing. The point is this: It's up to us to find ways to use and enjoy the oceans in a sustainable way." The commission found overexploited fish stocks and other depleted marine resources; the loss or declining resilience of habitat; and pervasive water contamination. It recommends more ocean-related education for schoolchildren, doubled federal research and increased emphasis on scientific-based decision-making.

2NC – Solvency – Say Yes

Obama will pass the JOCI’s recommendations –credibility

Packard 09—the executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium (Julie, “Obama’s Big Blue Commitment,” Huffington Post, 6/29, )//FJ

For five years, I and the other members of two national ocean commissions have been calling on the president and Congress to address the grave threats facing our oceans. Two months ago, the members of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative sent them a set of ambitious but achievable recommendations, including a call for a national ocean policy. The recommendations represent years of work and the best thinking of a diverse, bipartisan coalition committed to ocean policy reform. They offer specific, practical steps to protect and restore our oceans, improve human well-being, create national wealth and provide responsible stewardship of our resources. By his action, President Obama has set the executive branch on course toward a new era of effective ocean management. In Congress, members of both parties are taking up the challenge as well. But time is short.

Political cover: Since the commission’s recommendation is final, no one in Congress has to take the blame

The Telegraph 10 (“Deficit-cutting panel a missed opportunity,” The Telegraph, 2/14,

At one time, closing a military base in this country seemed as unlikely as meaningful efforts toward deficit reduction. Any proposal by the Pentagon for base closure was met by congressional resistance, until the creation of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission gave Congress political cover. The commission and its staff conducted extensive research, held public hearings and managed to get three rounds of base closures through Congress. Hundreds of out-of-date military installations of all sorts were closed, many of which had long since lost their strategic value and were little more than local jobs programs. The base closure process was a great success, largely because Congress did not have the power to nitpick its recommendations. The entire list had to be accepted or rejected. This model may now be the only practical way for our government to tackle any issue with negative political fallout.

Empirics prove – commissions have created effective reform in times of tight Congressional gridlock.

Andrews 10—economics reporter for The New York Times (Edmund, “Deficit Panel Faces Obstacles in Poisonous Political Atmosphere,” The Fiscal Times, 2/18,

Supporters of a bipartisan deficit commission note that at least two previous presidential commissions succeeded at breaking through intractable political problems when Congress was paralyzed. The 1983 Greenspan commission, headed by Alan Greenspan, who later became chairman of the Federal Reserve, reached an historic agreement to gradually raise Social Security taxes and gradually increase the minimum age at which workers qualify for Social Security retirement benefits. Those recommendations passed both the House and Senate, and averted a potentially catastrophic financial crisis with Social Security.

Commission solves – creates compromise by shielding both parties from taking the blame.

Brookings Fiscal Seminar 09—a group of scholars who meet on a regular basis, under the auspices of The Brookings Institution and The Heritage Foundation, to discuss federal budget and fiscal policy issues (Brookings Fiscal Seminar, “THE POTENTIAL ROLE OF ENTITLEMENT OR BUDGET COMMISSIONS IN ADDRESSING LONG-TERM BUDGET PROBLEMS,” June 2009,

In contrast, the Greenspan Commission provided a forum for developing a political compromise on a set of politically unsavory changes. In this case, the political parties shared a deep concern about the impending insolvency of the Social Security system but feared the exposure of promoting their own solutions. The commission created political cover for the serious background negotiations that resulted in the ultimate compromise. The structure of the commission reflected these concerns and was composed of fifteen members, with the President, the Senate Majority Leader, and the Speaker of the House each appointing five members to the panel.

Perceived immediacy and magnitude of the aff means that the recommendation will pass.

Brookings Fiscal Seminar 09—a group of scholars who meet on a regular basis, under the auspices of The Brookings Institution and The Heritage Foundation, to discuss federal budget and fiscal policy issues (Brookings Fiscal Seminar, “THE POTENTIAL ROLE OF ENTITLEMENT OR BUDGET COMMISSIONS IN ADDRESSING LONG-TERM BUDGET PROBLEMS,” June 2009,

The success of the Greenspan Commission seems to have been due to three things: 1) the problem that the commission had been set up to deal with, the insolvency of Social Security, was real, imminent and well-defined; 2) the costs of failing to resolve the problem would have been too great for either party; and 3) the membership of the commission included trusted representatives of the leaders of the two political parties as well as enough pragmatic panelists to offer a high likelihood of eventual compromise. But despite this consensus amongst the panel members about the imminence and seriousness of the problem, the panel came close to reporting without recommendations. It was only because of the work of a subgroup of the commissioners working with high-ranking officials in the Administration that a set of recommendations finally emerged.4

Recommendations get implemented – bipartisan natures of commission makes recommendations less politically abrasive

Glassman and Straus 13—*analyst at the Congressional Research Service AND **analyst at the Congressional Research Service (*Matthew Eric AND **Jacob R., “Congressional Commissions: Overview, Structure, and Legislative Considerations,” Congressional Research Service, 1/22,

Throughout American history, Congress has found commissions to be useful entities in the legislative process. By establishing a commission, Congress can potentially provide a highly visible forum for important issues and assemble greater expertise than may be readily available within the legislature. Complex policy issues can be examined over a longer time period and in greater depth than may be practical for legislators. Finally, the non-partisan or bipartisan character of most congressional commissions may make their findings and recommendations more politically acceptable, both in Congress and among the public. Critics argue that many congressional commissions are expensive, often formed to take difficult decisions out of the hands of Congress, and are mostly ignored when they report their findings and recommendations.

Commission recommendations get passed by Congress – reduce partisanship

Glassman and Straus 13—*analyst at the Congressional Research Service AND **analyst at the Congressional Research Service (*Matthew Eric AND **Jacob R., “Congressional Commissions: Overview, Structure, and Legislative Considerations,” Congressional Research Service, 1/22,

Solutions to policy problems produced within the normal legislative process may also suffer politically from charges of partisanship.30 Similar charges may be made against investigations conducted by Congress.31 The non-partisan or bipartisan character of most congressional commissions may make their findings and recommendations less susceptible to such charges and more politically acceptable to a diverse viewpoints. The bipartisan or nonpartisan arrangement can potentially give their recommendations strong credibility, both in Congress and among the public, even when dealing with divisive issues of public policy.32 Commissions may also give political factions space to negotiate compromises in good faith, bypassing the short-term tactical political maneuvers that accompany public negotiations.33 Similarly, because commission members are not elected, they may be better suited to suggesting unpopular, but necessary, policy solutions.34

Congress will implement the JOC’s recommendations – past cooperation proves

Upton and Buck 10—*analyst in Natural Resources Policy for the Congressional Research Service AND **specialist in Natural Resources Policy for the Congressional Research Service (*Harold E AND *Eugene H., “Ocean Commissions: Ocean Policy Review and Outlook,” Congressional Research Service, 7/20,

On March 16. 2006. a bipartisan group of 10 Senators requested that the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative report on the top 10 steps Congress should take to address the most pressing challenges, the highest funding priorities, and the most important changes to federal laws and the budget process to establish a more effective and integrated ocean policy. In response on June 13. 2006. a national ocean policy action plan for Congress. From Sea lo Shining Sea: Priorities for Ocean Policy Reform—A Report to the United States Senate, was delivered to Congress by the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative and was intended to serve as a guide for developing legislation and funding high-priority programs.30 This action plan responded to the Senators* request to identify the most urgent priorities for congressional action to protect, restore, and maintain the marine ecosystem. According to the plan. the 10 steps are: • adopt a statement of national ocean policy; pass an organic act lo establish NOAA in law and work with (he Administration to identify and act upon opportunities to improve federal agency coordination on ocean and coastal issues; foster ecosystem-based regional governance; reauthorize an improved Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; enact legislation to support innovation and competition in ocean-related research and education consistent with key initiatives in the Rush Administration's Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy (discussed in the following section on "Administration Response and Implementation"); enact legislation to authorize and fund the Integrated Ocean Observing System (I0OS); accede to the U,N. Convention on the Law of the Sea; establish an Ocean Trust Fund in the U.S. Treasury as a dedicated source of funds for improved management and understanding of ocean and coastal resources by federal and state governments; increase base funding for core ocean and coastal programs and direct development of an integrated ocean budget; and enact ocean and coastal legislation that progressed significantly in the IfW1 Congress. The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative remains active in promoting ocean policy reform through reports, press releases, letters to and testimony before Congress, and public speaking engagements. In April 2009. it released its most recent report, tilled Changing Oceans. Changing World: Ocean Priorities for the Obama Administration and Congress. The Joint Ocean Commission has expressed support and provided comments for the two IOPTF reports.

2NC AT: Congress will block funding

Even if Congress blocks funding, widespread support from both the public and the states will ensure its implementation

Stauffer 14—Senior Manager of the Ocean Program at Surfrider Foundation (Pete, “Texas Lawmaker Leads Attack on our National Ocean Policy,” Surfrider Foundation 6/1,

When the National Ocean Policy was established by President Obama in 2010 it signaled a serious attempt to address the many shortcomings of our nation’s piecemeal approach to ocean management. Taking its cue from the recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy - a bipartisan body established by President George W. Bush - the policy emphasizes improved collaboration across all levels of government to address priorities such as water quality, marine debris, and renewable energy A cornerstone of the policy is the establishment of regional ocean parterships (ROPs) that empower states to work with federal agencies, stakeholders, tribes, and the public to plan for the future of the ocean. In just three years, important progress has been made, despite a glaring lack of support from Congress. An Implementation Plan has been released with hundreds of actions that federal agencies are taking to protect marine ecosystems and coastal economies. Collaborative projects are moving forward to restore habitats, advance ocean science, and engage stakeholders. And finally, the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and West Coast regions have begun ocean planning to enusure that future development will mimize impacts to the environment and existing users. Of course, such success stories do not resonate well in Washington D.C., where controversy rules the day and political parties instinctively oppose each other’s proposals. As an initiative of the Obama Presidency, the policy has suffered from partisan attacks, despite the collaborative framework it is based upon. Yet, such political gamesmanship by our federal leaders is obscuring an important truth - the principles of the National Ocean Policy are taking hold in states and regions across the country, even without the meaningful support of Congress. That is why Congress needs to hear from people who care about (and depend upon) the ocean. Our ocean ecoystems are too important to the nation's well-being to be subject to the usual politics. It's time for Congress to provide a level of support and funding that's commensurate with efforts being made on the ground. Let's elevate support for our National Ocean Policy across the political spectrum!

Efforts to halt funding for the NOP have been firmly rejected by the Senate – opponents of the NOP have lost all momentum

Merwin 14—Director of Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning at Ocean Conservancy (Anne, “Attack on National Ocean Policy Defeated; Lost Opportunity to Create a National Endowment for the Ocean,” Ocean Conservancy, 5/16,

This week, after nearly 6 months of negotiation, a final deal was announced. Thanks to your help, the threat to the National Ocean Policy was resoundingly rejected. Champions in the Senate and White House heard you, and successfully negotiated to remove the “Flores rider”—inserted by Rep. Bill Flores who represents a landlocked district in central Texas— from the final bill. If it had been successful, this misguided attempted to undermine the National Ocean Policy would have prohibited the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a key coastal and ocean management agency, from coordinating with coastal states, other federal agencies and the public as they engage in smart ocean planning. With this threat removed, the multiple states that are already working on smart ocean planning can move forward unimpeded with the full cooperation and participation of the federal government.

2NC AT: Certainty Key – Investment

NOP key to create the certainty and coordination for ocean investment – solves the economy.

Center for American Progress 11—an independent educational, public policy research, and advocacy organization (“National Ocean Policy Ensures Economic Growth, Security, and Resilience,” Center for American Progress, 10/24,

America’s oceans are effectively our last frontier. And while they comprise federally managed space, the bulk of their users live and work in adjacent coastal areas. Thus our exclusive economic zone presents a unique regulatory challenge. We have seen how the policies of the past—a first-come, first-served race to plant a flag—lead to chaos and delay. Lack of certainty means a lack of financing. A lack of financing means a lack of economic growth. And a lack of growth means a lack of jobs. Until we can create a process that brings all stakeholders to the table to air grievances and share solutions, we will continue to stagger along in a series of fits, starts, and lawsuits that will leave America’s ocean industries falling farther and farther behind our international counterparts. Support for the National Ocean Policy is support for the future of America’s ocean industries.

NOP solves economic collapse – helps local communities

Conathan 11 - Michael Conathan is the Director of Ocean Policy at American Progress, (Michael Conathan) “National Ocean Policy: A Path to America’s Ocean Future”, October 26, 2011,
In addition to supporting comprehensive ocean planning, the National Ocean Policy contains eight other national priority objectives, including the establishment of a science-based strategy to align conservation and restoration goals at federal, state, tribal, local, and regional levels and the strengthening and integration of federal and nonfederal ocean observing systems and data management into one national system, to then be integrated into international observation efforts.¶ According to the National Ocean Economics Program, our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes are critical components of our nation’s economy. U.S. coastal counties are home to more than half of all Americans, generate an estimated $8 trillion per year, and support 69 million jobs.¶ In Florida, for example, a report prepared by the National Ocean Economics Program for Florida’s Ocean and Coastal Council showed that tourism, recreation, and fishing contributed $18.9 billion to Florida’s GDP in 2005. In addition to the benefits the entire nation will reap from implementation of the nine priority objectives in the National Ocean Policy, Florida’s coast is particularly vulnerable to sea level rise as a result of global climate change, and its reefs are at significant risk from ocean warming and acidification. The NOP’s goals include strengthening resiliency of coastal communities to these threats. The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative found that in California, as of 2007, more than 85 percent of gross domestic product and nearly 12 million jobs came from economic activity in these coastal estuarine areas. California’s state government has prioritized ocean conservation and has used the concept of NOP in implementation of the Marine Life Protection Act, which used stakeholder input to develop the boundaries of marine protected areas within its state waters.¶ And in Michigan, a state deeply affected by the economic downturn, 15 percent of all jobs are associated with the Great Lakes, and they make up 23 percent of the total payroll, according to Michigan’s Sea Grant program. While some would imply that the administration is over-reaching its authority by extending ocean policy to the Great Lakes, the core missions of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, BOEMRE, and other federal agencies with oversight of ocean activities already encompass the Great Lakes. This is appropriate as activities on the Lakes, including fishing, boating, shipping, and energy development, are equivalent to their maritime counterparts.¶ Comprehensive ocean planning will further ensure the stability of the nation’s seaports as additional uses of ocean space evolve. This is of utmost importance to the entire country. Again, according to the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, the value of imports through U.S. ports was almost $2 trillion in 2010, and in 2008 commercial ports supported 13 million U.S. jobs. Ports that accommodate oceangoing vessels move 99.5 percent of U.S. overseas trade by volume and 64 percent by value, and compared to 2001 total freight moving through U.S. ports is expected to increase by more than 50 percent by 2020.¶ Declining ocean health and a lack of effective coordination among regional groups, states, and federal bodies is putting this great economic engine at risk. Wise investment in the future of our oceans will provide a tune-up for our marine economic engine that will keep it running smoothly for future generations. On the other hand, failing to address these inadequacies will lead to increasing inefficiencies and systemic breakdowns.

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