This report was developed by the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative (Joint Initiative), a bipartisan group of senior leaders from industry, academia, and civil society, as well as former senior government officials, who represent diverse ocean and coastal interests.
In this digital report, the Joint Initiative recommends actions the Trump Administration and Congress should implement to effectively manage America’s vast ocean, Great Lakes, and coastal resources to ensure a vibrant and healthy future. The actions are organized into nine priority areas the Trump Administration and Congress should tackle over the next four years.
- Build strong coasts and economies
- Support regional collaboration
- Be an international leader
- Invest in science and research
- Prioritize U.S. interests in the Arctic
- Support healthy economies and ecosystems
- Foster sustainable fisheries
- Facilitate responsible offshore energy
- Support an ocean investment fund
The actions in this report were informed by a series of Regional Ocean Leadership Roundtables in the U.S. Arctic and East, West, and Gulf Coasts. At these roundtables, the Joint Initiative brought together local, state, tribal, and national leaders representing diverse industry, government, and nonprofit interests to identify creative solutions to critical ocean and coastal issues. The leaders discussed how:
- Local, state, and regional efforts can inform and influence ocean and coastal policymaking on a national level.
- National ocean-related policies can better support local communities, states, and regions to advance actions and solutions.
- The network of local, state, and regional ocean champions can grow and continue pressing these important actions forward.
To understand the complex and nuanced challenges facing the U.S. Arctic, the Joint Initiative convened national leaders in Washington, D.C., and Alaskan leaders in Fairbanks, Alaska, and traveled to Barrow, Alaska, to meet people living in the Arctic. At the three Arctic Ocean Leadership Roundtables participants discussed the need for additional tools to better understand and adapt to a changing Arctic environment, seize new economic opportunities, and address security challenges.
For the East Coast Ocean Leadership Roundtable, the Joint Initiative brought together regional leaders from Maine to Florida to explore how Atlantic communities are adapting to changing ecosystems and tapping new economic opportunities. The discussion focused on promoting a balanced approach to development, coastal resilience, and supporting informed decision making.
At the West Coast Ocean Leadership Roundtable, the Joint Initiative gathered regional leaders in Seattle to discuss how the region is managing change along the Pacific coast. The discussion focused on innovative local and state approaches and the need for environmentally responsible economic development.
At the Gulf of Mexico Ocean Leadership Roundtable, the Joint Initiative convened leaders from the Gulf states to discuss urgent economic and environmental challenges they face. Participants emphasized the need for strong federal support for ecological and economic restoration in the Gulf.
The Regional Ocean Leadership Roundtables provided insights about each region’s specific ocean and coastal needs. The Joint Initiative has organized and distilled these specific issues into nine major overarching themes that form the basis of and serve as the organizing structure for this Ocean Action Agenda.
Published in March, 2017, by the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative.