[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 11 (Wednesday, January 18, 2012)]
[Pages 2514-2515]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-840]



National Ocean Council--National Ocean Policy Draft 
Implementation Plan

AGENCY: Council on Environmental Quality.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.


SUMMARY: On July 19, 2010, President Obama signed Executive Order 13547 
establishing a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, our 
Coasts, and the Great Lakes (National Ocean Policy). As part of the 
President's charge for Federal agencies to implement the National Ocean 
Policy, the National Ocean Council developed actions to achieve the 
Policy's nine priority objectives, and to address some of the most 
pressing challenges facing the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. 
Collectively, the actions are encompassed in a single draft National 
Ocean Policy Implementation Plan (Implementation Plan). The draft 
Implementation Plan describes more than 50 actions the Federal 
Government will take to improve the health of the ocean, coasts, and 
Great Lakes, which support tens of millions of jobs, contribute 
trillions of dollars a year to the national economy, and are essential 
to public health and national security.
    The draft Implementation Plan will ensure the Federal Government 
targets limited resources more effectively to deliver demonstrable 
results for the American people, including predictability for users, 
more efficient and coordinated decision-making, and improved sharing of 
data and technology. For each action, the Implementation Plan outlines 
key milestones, identifies responsible agencies, and indicates the 
expected timeframe for completion.
    Experts from the National Ocean Council's member departments, 
agencies, and offices developed the actions in the draft Implementation 
Plan with significant input from national, regional, and local 
stakeholders and the general public. The development process included 
public comment periods from January through April 2011 and June through 
July 2011, and 12 regional listening sessions around the country.
    Next, public comments on the draft Implementation Plan will inform 
the preparation of the final plan. We welcome your general input, and 
also pose the following questions:
     Does the draft Implementation Plan reflect actions you see 
are needed to address the nine priorities for the ocean, coasts, and 
the Great lakes?
     What is the most effective way to measure outcomes and to 
detect whether a particular action in the Implementation Plan has 
achieved its intended outcome? Would a report card format be useful?
    Comments received will be collated and posted on the National Ocean 
Council Web site. The final Implementation Plan is expected in the 
spring of 2012.

DATES: The National Ocean Council must receive comments by midnight, 
February 27, 2012.

ADDRESSES: The draft Implementation Plan and additional information can 
be found at http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/oceans. Comments should be 
submitted electronically to http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/oceans. Comments 
may also be sent in writing to ``ATTN: National Ocean Council'' by fax 
to (202) 456-0753, or by mail to National Ocean Council, 722 Jackson 
Place NW., Washington, DC 20503. Heightened security measures in force

[[Page 2515]]

may delay mail delivery; therefore, please allow at least two (2) to 
three (3) weeks of additional time for mailed comments to arrive. We 
encourage you to also submit comments through the National Ocean 
Council Web site.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the content of this 
request may be submitted through the National Ocean Council Web site at 
http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/administration/eop/oceans/contact or by mail 
to National Ocean Council, 722 Jackson Place NW., Washington, DC 20503. 
Please note, heightened security measures in force may delay mail 
delivery; therefore, we encourage you to also submit questions through 
the National Ocean Council Web site.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 19, 2010, President Obama signed 
Executive Order 13547 establishing a National Policy for the 
Stewardship of the Ocean, our Coasts, and the Great Lakes. That 
Executive Order adopts the Final Recommendations of the Interagency 
Ocean Policy Task Force and directs Federal agencies to take the 
appropriate steps to implement them. The Executive Order creates an 
interagency National Ocean Council to strengthen ocean governance and 
coordination and identifies nine priority objectives for the National 
Ocean Council to pursue.
    The National Ocean Policy provides a comprehensive approach, based 
on science and technology, to uphold our stewardship responsibilities 
and ensure accountability for our actions to present and future 
generations. The Obama Administration intends, through the National 
Ocean Policy, to provide a model of balanced, productive, efficient, 
sustainable, and informed ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes use, 
management, and conservation.
    The National Ocean Policy describes a clear set of priority 
objectives, listed below, that our Nation should pursue to address some 
of the most pressing challenges facing the ocean, our coasts, and the 
Great Lakes. Additional information about each priority may be found at 
    Ecosystem-Based Management: Adopt ecosystem-based management as a 
foundational principle for the comprehensive management of the ocean, 
our coasts, and the Great Lakes;
    Inform Decisions and Improve Understanding: Increase knowledge to 
continually inform and improve management and policy decisions and the 
capacity to respond to change and challenges. Better educate the public 
through formal and informal programs about the ocean, our coasts, and 
the Great Lakes;
    Observations, Mapping, and Infrastructure: Strengthen and integrate 
Federal and non-Federal ocean observing systems, sensors, data 
collection platforms, data management, and mapping capabilities into a 
national system and integrate that system into international 
observation efforts;
    Coordinate and Support: Better coordinate and support Federal, 
State, Tribal, local, and regional management of the ocean, our coasts, 
and the Great Lakes. Improve coordination and integration across the 
Federal Government and, as appropriate, engage with the international 
    Regional Ecosystem Protection and Restoration: Establish and 
implement an integrated ecosystem protection and restoration strategy 
that is science-based and aligns conservation and restoration goals at 
the Federal, State, Tribal, local, and regional levels;
    Resiliency and Adaptation to Climate Change and Ocean 
Acidification: Strengthen resiliency of coastal communities and marine 
and Great Lakes environments, and their abilities to adapt to climate 
change impacts and ocean acidification;
    Water Quality and Sustainable Practices on Land: Enhance water 
quality in the ocean, along our coasts, and in the Great Lakes by 
promoting and implementing sustainable practices on land;
    Changing Conditions in the Arctic: Address environmental 
stewardship needs in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent coastal areas in the 
face of climate-induced and other environmental changes; and
    Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning: Implement comprehensive, 
integrated, ecosystem-based coastal and marine spatial planning and 
management in the United States.
    The draft Implementation Plan addresses each of these priority 
objectives through actions and milestones Federal agencies will 
undertake to deliver tangible results to the American people on the 
vitality and availability of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. 
The National Ocean Council will assess and review the Implementation 
Plan on a regular basis, and modify it as needed based on the success 
or failure of the agreed upon actions.
    The National Ocean Policy neither establishes any new regulations 
nor restricts any ocean uses or activities. The National Ocean Policy 
does not supersede or alter any existing Federal, State, Tribal, or 
local authority. Accordingly, the Implementation Plan will be carried 
out under existing domestic legal authority and in accordance with 
customary international law, including as reflected in the Law of the 
Sea Convention, and with treaties and other international agreements to 
which the United States is a party.

    Dated: January 11, 2012.
Nancy H. Sutley,
[FR Doc. 2012-840 Filed 1-17-12; 8:45 am]