Second Circuit: EPA Acted “Arbitrarily and Capriciously” regarding Ballast Water

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) acted arbitrarily and capriciously in issuing the ballast water provisions included in the 2013 Vessel General Permit (“VGP”), and remanded the issue to the EPA to redraft the ballast water sections of the VGP. The differences between the VGP ballast water provisions, International Maritime Organization (“IMO”) Ballast Water Management Convention, and U.S. Coast Guard’s ballast water regulations have posed a number of compliance challenges thus far, which may be further exacerbated by possible new VGP requirements. While substantive changes to the VGP ballast provisions, if any, are likely years away, ship owners and operators should be aware, closely monitor, and be prepared to comment on a new draft VGP in the future.

On October 5, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously ruled that the EPA acted arbitrarily and capriciously in drafting the ballast water discharge provisions of its 2013 VGP. Most notably, the court stated that the EPA failed to adequately explain why stricter technology-based effluent standards should not be applied, failed to give fair and thorough consideration to onshore treatment options, and failed to adequately explain why pre-2009 Lakers were exempted. The court instructed the EPA to reconsider the VGP ballast water provisions in accordance with its ruling. In the meantime, the 2013 VGP will remain in effect.

We Apologize for the Inconvenience Resulting from the Outage of Our Website

         The CRE website was attacked with the result that had we not pulled down the website we would have risked loosing content.

         We appreciate your many emails and we are  working to continue to install state of the art  early warning systems.  We must , however, add that we have only had two major outages in more than a decade of operation.

        We are particularly concerned that some of you could not use the website for the preparation of regulatory filings.

        We would also like to clear the record;  we receive no support from the federal government. Consequently following the laws of economics  those of you who suffered the most significant losses and who are not a supporter of CRE can address this shortcoming by sending us a contribution.

The National Ocean Council’s Portal for Ocean Data

The National Ocean Council recently established its portal for Ocean Data.  The ocean data portal is available here. The CRE has been monitoring the activities of the National Ocean Council and will be monitoring the NOC’s data as it is released.  The CRE invites the public to do the same by commenting on this IPD.

Below is information about the portal as released by the National Ocean Council:

This is the National Ocean Council’s portal for data, information, and tools to support people engaged in planning for the future of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes.  Our goal is to be a one-stop hub to support planners and to provide useful information to the public.

OIRA Watch

Some two dozen legislative proposals to improve the regulatory process are under consideration by the Congress.  Nonetheless, the immediate relief needed for job creation can come though OIRA.

Accordingly  we have launched an interactive public docket (IPD), OIRA Watch,  aimed at demonstrating the need for OIRA to act on particular issues of interest.

The impact of any “Watch” site is heavily depending upon the credibility of its sponsor; please view CRE’s credentials, giving particular attention to the information contained in this link.

The Critical Role of Civil Servants

Historically, federal civil servants played a critical role in developing and implementing federal policy. The attached article in the Administrative Law Review,published by the American Bar Association in conjunction  with the Washington College of Law of the American University, sets forth in Section D on page 54  the critical role career federal employees had in the establishment of centralized regulatory review in the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Public-private partnership helps monitor fish populations

Managing commercial and recreational fisheries is a complex and sometimes contentious process in which fishing interests, scientists, and regulatory agencies don’t always see eye-to-eye.

From: Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) are now working with commercial fishermen to collect and share fisheries data in a cooperative venture that promises to build trust and foster the mutual goal of sustainable and profitable fisheries in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions.

The VIMS team, led by fisheries scientists Rob Latour, Chris Bonzek, and Jim Gartland, is a key part of NEAMAP—the NorthEast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program. The NEAMAP Mid-Atlantic/Southern New England Near Shore Trawl Survey team at VIMS also includes Jameson Gregg, Evan McOmber, Deb Gauthier, Melanie Chattin, Greg Mears, Kristene Parsons, and Kevin Spanik.

Since 2007, the VIMS team has partnered for one spring and one fall survey each year with the crew of the fishing vessel Darana R, a 90-foot commercial trawler out of Hampton, Virginia. The boat is captained by Jimmy Ruhle from Wanchese, North Carolina, with help from mates Bobby Ruhle and Rigo Rodriguez. When not doing survey work, the trio mainly fishes squid and herring.

Alaska Priorities Secured in Funding Bill

November 18, 2011

(SitNews) – Numerous Alaska priorities including funding for aviation, weather satellites, fisheries enhancement and rural development are contained in an appropriations bill supported by U.S. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) & U. S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) which passed the Senate yesterday. The appropriations bill, which funds numerous federal departments, is now on its way to President Obama’s desk.

“Alaska has unique needs, from accurate weather forecasting to safe aviation for our rural communities, and I’m pleased we successfully fought to fund them in this legislation,” Sen. Begich said. “These critical investments in Alaska’s ferries, airports and communities will provide businesses the access and resources needed to create jobs and promote efforts to revitalize our economy.”

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski supported final passage of an appropriations bill that combines three appropriations bills – meaning millions for Alaska’s infrastructure and industry in the next fiscal year have been sent to President Obama for his signature.  Murkowski serves on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and 6 different Appropriations Subcommittees.

When signed, many Alaskan imperatives can now count on resources for the next year, including:

President’s Ocean Zoning Plan Called A Threat To Fishing (The Dispatch)

From: The Dispatch

OCEAN CITY — A potential plan to effectively zone vast areas of the open ocean along the nation’s coastlines got more play this week with a congressional committee hearing on Wednesday.

Last year, based on the recommendations of the Interagency Task Force on Ocean Policy, President Barack Obama issued an executive order calling for a National Ocean Policy, a policy that could include a somewhat controversial “marine spatial zoning” of the seas off the nation’s coastlines, including here in Ocean City and the mid-Atlantic.

The president called for the creation of a National Ocean Council, an organization of stakeholders to coordinate federal regulation of activities along the nation’s coasts.

A pillar of the recommendations is the creation of a plan to implement the same type of planning and zoning practices applied on land to open areas of ocean off the coast.

In essence, if the plan comes to fruition, some areas of open ocean could be zoned to allow for industrial uses such as offshore drilling, shipping and alternative energy, while others could be set aside only for recreational uses such as fishing or boating.

Coastal Communities Conference to address shoreline planning (Inquirer and Mirror)

From: Inquire and Mirror

By Joshua Balling

I&M Assistant Editor

In recent years, environmentalists, marine scientists and government officials concerned about the oceans have focused most of their attention well offshore, as issues like alternative energy, diminishing fishing stocks and global warming miles from land have become hot topics.

Next Thursday, however, the focus will shift to an area much closer to shore, as the second annual Coastal Communities Conference kicks off at the Nantucket Yacht Club. While last year’s conference focused on erosion, this year’s will address the unique challenges in planning for those areas where the land meets the sea, said Melissa Philbrick, executive director of ReMain Nantucket, which is co-hosting the event with the Egan Maritime Institute.

“The conference is a way to think about the challenges of living on the waterfront. The idea of the land-sea interface doesn’t get talked about a lot. Others talk about the deep ocean, or what happens onshore. The interaction between the ocean and the shore is what this conference is all about,” she said.

The conference will open with a preview of “Ocean Frontiers,” a documentary set to premier in the coming weeks that examines coastal and marine spatial-planning efforts in places like the Florida Keys and Gulf of Mexico, Philbrick said.

Plan to protect and enhance Waikato’s marine areas


Waikato’s popular marine areas will be protected and enhanced for the future by a new plan about to get underway, the Waikato Regional Council heard yesterday.

The Policy and Strategy Committee yesterday directed council staff to begin preparation of a Regional Waikato Marine Strategy and scope collaborative options for developing a marine spatial plan for the Hauraki Gulf.

Committee chairperson Paula Southgate said the Waikato’s marine areas were among the region’s most heavily used natural resources.

“They have significant regional importance in terms of amenity and economic potential and we want to ensure we retain and enhance these areas for the future,” Cr Southgate said.

“There are lots of competing interests for our marine areas, from boaties to commercial and recreational fishers, divers to swimmers, and seafood gathering. They are also a rich source of seafood for everyone, including tangata whenua.

“The work that’s going to be undertaken integrates with existing work carried out by the council, such as Shore Futures and Coromandel Blueprint.

“Development of a regional marine strategy will also inform the council’s Long Term Plan works programme, prioritise existing projects and identify knowledge gaps,” she said.

Aquarium of the Pacific Leads 1st Attempt to Apply Obama Administration’s Ocean Planning to Southern California

From: Press Release

The Aquarium of the Pacific and USC Sea Grant gathered leading national experts in the first attempt to apply coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP) to the waters off Southern California. The Obama Administration interagency Ocean Policy Task Force recommends planning the allocation of the ocean through this process. Other countries have adopted CMSP, but in the U.S. only Massachusetts and Rhode Island have implemented it.

The Aquarium of the Pacific wants California to take the West Coast lead. “Through proper planning, we can improve the quality of the ocean and enhance our economy. By allocating uses we can cluster compatible activities, and keep them away from sensitive biological populations,” said Dr. Jerry R. Schubel, Aquarium of the Pacific president.

The experts involved represented the conservation, scientific, government, and commercial sectors. They agreed that as the population grows and economic and ecosystem pressures increase, the need for management of human activity and protection of marine life will be paramount.

Charles “Bud” Ehler, president of Ocean Visions Consulting and marine spatial planning consultant to UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, noted that some ocean areas are sensitive, while others may be more appropriate for human uses. He continued saying that spatial allocation is a sensible approach as new ocean uses, such as offshore wind farms and other industries, enter the picture.

Southampton Notebook: Coastal Planning Project Kicks Off

From: SouthamptonPatch

By Lisa Finn

Southampton Town’s waterfront areas were front and center this week as initiatives were announced that focus on sustainability.

The Southampton Town Coastal Program is aimed at addressing coastal issues including nitrification, natural resources protection, open space preservation, coastal zoning, capital projects, waterfront business revitalization and more.

The first meeting of the project advisory committee took place this week; the project is funded by the state and town.

Coastal planning professionals from the Urban Harbors Institute of the University of Massachusetts were hired to perform a study; town staffers and locals with waterfront concerns and expertise comprise the advisory group.

Multiple public forums will be held; the first is slate for late October, with a website expected to unveil in late August.

Councilwoman Bridget Fleming has long advocated sustainability.

“As a community with around 658 miles of shoreline, bordering two major estuary systems, it is imperative that Southampton Town address key sustainability issues related to our waterways and wastewater planning,”  Fleming said. “The maintenance and balance of these precious resources are not only vital to our ecosystem and quality of life, but are the lifeblood of our local economy.”

Pioneering Fish Map Môn project

From: World Fishing & Aquaculture

A pioneering project that will help shape a sustainable future for the fishing industry and marine wildlife was recently launched.

The project, Fish Map Môn, is being developed initially for the sea area around Anglesey and the Menai Strait. Information on fishing activity and intensity will be gathered from individual fishermen, which will then be combined with information on the area’s wildlife habitats and their sensitivity.

The maps produced will give a clear picture of the type and level of fishing activities taking place in various natural habitats. The maps will be a basis to develop options for sustainable fisheries management – showing which areas are vulnerable to fishing activities and others which are more robust. If successful, the project could be applied to other sea areas around Wales.

The Fish Map Môn project is run by the North Wales Fishermen’s Cooperative ltd, Bangor Mussel Producers ltd, the Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers and Countryside Council for Wales.

Morgan Parry. CCW’s Chairman said: “For an activity to be truly sustainable it has to look after the local economy and communities as well as the natural environment. This project is one of the best examples of collaboration between various interested parties to work towards a sustainable, workable future.

Blank Rome Sponsors Business Forum on Marine Spatial Planning

From: The Maritime Executive

Senior Federal Government Officials To Engage Ocean Industries at Marine Planning Conference

Blank Rome Maritime, the largest maritime and admiralty law practice in the United States, has agreed to become a sponsor of the National Business Forum on Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). Blank Rome is a member of the World Ocean Council, which is organizing the Forum in Washington D.C. on 13-14 July.

There is still time to register for the National Business Forum, where the ocean business community will have a unique opportunity to engage in dialogue directly with key Federal government officials involved in the U.S. National Ocean Council:

·   Kristen Sarri, Deputy Director, Department of Commerce

·   Sally Yozell, Policy Director, NOAA, Department of Commerce

·   Alan Thornhill, Science Advisor to the Director, BOEMRE, Department of Interior

The Forum on MSP is an unprecedented opportunity for businesses that care about their future use of marine space and resources to understand the government plans for managing marine space. The Forum will conclude with a 2-hour session – for business representatives only – to develop the industry strategy and action plan for engaging in CMSP as it moves forward.

Rhode Island offshore wind project wins key court ruling

From: Platts

Deepwater Wind, one of three developers in the Northeast vying to build the US’ first offshore wind farm, has won a key court ruling for its 28.8-MW project off the coast of Rhode Island.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court on Friday rejected arguments from two manufacturers that National Grid will pay too much for power from the Block Island project.

Toray Plastics and Polytop challenged the state Public Utilities Commission decision approving the utility’s 20-year deal to buy the power at an opening price of 24.4 cents/kWh with a 3.5% annual escalation.

The favorable court decision paves the way for the $250 million Deepwater Wind project to seek state and federal permits.

Jim Lanard, president of the Offshore Wind Development Coalition, said that the other two offshore wind projects closing in on the finish line are Cape Wind’s 420-MW project off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and the Fishermen’s Energy 24-MW wind farm off of Atlantic City, New Jersey.

All three developers are trying to complete a different set of final milestones, according to Lanard.

Fishing industry blasts exclusion from Ocean Council


By Shir Haberman
EXETER — In July 2010, President Barack Obama issued an executive order that established the first comprehensive national policy for the stewardship of the ocean, coasts and Great Lakes. On Monday, members of the National Ocean Council, which was established under this order, held a public listening session at Exeter High School to get input on the nine strategic plans developed by the council.

While virtually everyone who spoke praised the initiative, several voiced warnings and concerns about what was and was not included in the plans. Hampton resident Ellen Goethel, representing local and regional commercial fisherman, questioned why those she represented were not included on the council.

“What are you thinking, leaving out the fishermen and the (national and regional Fisheries Management) councils?” Goethel asked. “This executive order circumvented the will of Congress (as expressed in the 1996 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, which established the fishery councils to manage the nation’s fisheries).”

The failure of the executive order to include fishermen in the debate over how best to manage the nation’s oceans was yet another example of the government’s bias against those who earn their livings from the sea, Goethel said.

The Aquarium of the Pacific is Leading the Dialogue on Urban Ocean Issues

From: Zoo and Aquarium Visitor

By Marilyn Padilla

Long Beach, CA – The Aquarium of the Pacific has announced that it will be leading a gathering of key stakeholders in making the first attempt in the nation to apply coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP) on Southern California’s urban ocean in late July. CMSP is among the recommendations for ocean stewardship published by the Obama administration’s Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force. “The Aquarium is leading the dialogue on urban ocean issues at local and national levels, raising awareness among the public, and bringing together stakeholders to make innovative plans for the future,” said Margaret Davidson, director, NOAA Coastal Services Center.

This past weekend, the Aquarium of the Pacific celebrated the unique, vibrant section of coastline shared by humans and diverse wildlife in Southern California with the public during its second annual Urban Ocean Festival. During the festival, the Aquarium launched its summer-long Urban Ocean boat cruise, which gives the public the opportunity to see local wildlife, ports, and other activities off the coast. The Aquarium has also been highlighting urban ocean issues with lectures, CMP sessions, and by raising awareness of the urban ocean through presentations at national conferences, including Capitol Hill Ocean Week on June 9, the Blue Vision Summit in Washington, D.C. on May 22, and on May 24 at the Headwaters to Ocean (H2O) Conference in San Diego, where the Aquarium’s President & CEO Dr. Jerry R. Schubel presented a keynote address on CMSP.

Rules overhaul lies ahead for coastal fishing

Marine Spatial Planning and the Shipping Industry: If you’re not at the table…

From: The Maritime Executive

Written by:  Paul Holthus, Executive Director World Ocean Council

Marine spatial planning (MSP) is moving ahead rapidly in Europe, Australia and the U.S., creating a significant threat and opportunity for maritime industry access and operations in the marine environment. Unfortunately, the shipping industry is often not actively engaged in MSP in a coordinated manner. There is a substantial risk that the efficiency and safety of shipping will be compromised by the predominance of other stakeholder interests if there is not consistent, coordinated business presence at the MSP table.

Collaborating with other industries as a strong, collective, pro-active “ocean business community” is the best opportunity for maritime industries to shape the future of ocean use. To support this, the first-ever survey of ocean industries on MSP has just been launched and the cross-sectoral business forum on MSP convenes in July 13-14 in Washington D.C.

MSP is a defined by UNESCO as a public and political process of analyzing and allocating the spatial and temporal distribution of human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives. The reality is that environmental interests are driving MSP in most areas and ocean industries are not at the table much of the time as ocean planning moves forward.

Independent Review of All Scientific Findings Used to Support Current Environmental Regulations

Editor’s Note: The following is the Heritage Foundation’s 5th Component of a Healthy National Energy Policy.  The complete document, American Energy Freedom: The Basis for Economic Recovery, is attached below.

Congress should require an independent review of all scientific findings used to support current environmental regulations under the purview of the Department of the Interior, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the EPA. Congress should repeal or amend those regulations that fail to meet the scientific integrity review. In July 2010, the Obama Administration issued an executive order called the Ocean Policy Initiative that subjects all of America’s waterways and the Great Lakes to federal zoning laws. A newly created National Ocean Council will oversee “coastal and marine spatial planning.” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a “Next-Generation Strategic Plan” that will use “[c]omprehensive planning to address competing uses to protect coastal communities and resources from the impacts of hazards and land-based pollution on vulnerable ecosystems.”

The EPA, a member of the National Ocean Council, could, for example, state that greenhouse gas emissions are harming the oceans, and use this avenue to regulate carbon dioxide if proposed cap-and-trade legislation does not become law. Essentially, this new unelected council bypasses Congress as well as state and local governments in determining land-based and water-based activities and allows new regulations to be established under the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts.

Coastal management program to end in six weeks


Managers at the state’s Division of Coastal and Ocean Management met with staff Monday, following the Legislature’s surprise action over the weekend to allow the program to end at the end of fiscal year, June 30.

“We are doing everything we can to find them reasonable employment outside coastal management,” said Randy Bates, the division’s director.

Of Coastal Management’s 33 employees, 22 are based in Juneau, with the remainder in Anchorage. Bates said they are looking at employee skill sets now.

“We are talking with other departments that might employ similarly experienced staff such as Fish and Game, Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development and (Department of Environmental Conservation), their commissioners are looking at vacancies they may have to see if there is an opportunity for our staff to move into those positions,” he said.

Saturday afternoon it appeared the program, scheduled to sunset at the end of the current fiscal year, would be saved when a conference committee trying to bridge the gap between Senate and House of Representative plans to extend the program appeared to reach agreement.




Statement of Michael R. Bromwich Director , Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation And Enforcement United States Department of the Interior

Committee On House Natural Resources

May 13, 2011

Mr. Chairman, and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear here today to discuss the renewable energy program of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) and our efforts to facilitate and expedite the development of the Nation’s offshore wind energy resources.

Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Wind Resources and Energy Development Goals BOEMRE manages the energy and mineral resources of the OCS, which comprises some 1.7 billion acres of submerged lands generally located between 3 and 200 nautical miles off the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that the total offshore wind potential is over 4,000 gigawatts (GW) for areas up to 50 miles from shore with average wind speeds of 7 meters per second or greater at 90- meter elevation. This estimate includes the resources of the Great Lakes and the coastal submerged lands under state jurisdiction, which are not managed by BOEMRE. However, OCS lands constitute the vast majority of what DOE considers “offshore” in its wind energy estimate.

COMMENT: Can Rec Fishing and Marine Parks co-exist?

From: Fishing World (Australia)

By Scott Coghlan

THE Federal Government’s release of the draft South-West Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network on Thursday offered renewed hope to those of us who believe recreational fishing and marine conservation principles can successfully co-exist.

Environment Minister Tony Burke announced the Gillard Government’s plans for a system of marine parks (MPAs) in the south-west on Thursday, which included one of the the biggest MPAs in the world, running from west of Augusta to near Esperance and covering a staggering 322,380 square kilometres of ocean. Overall, the five new MPAs in Western Australia, which are broken up into three categories, cover 538,000 square kilometres of Commonwealth waters, which start 5km from the shore.

It further entrenches Australia’s position as comfortably the most proactive country in the world when it comes to marine parks, with 11 per cent of our waters already in MPAs even before this announcement was made (the global target is 10 per cent by 2020) and 38 per cent of the world’s existing marine parks already in our waters.

Public and Stakeholder Session of the National Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning Workshop

The National Ocean Council invites the public and stakeholders to join our members and Federal, tribal, and State representatives in a public session on Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) in Washington, DC on June 21, 2011. Gathering public feedback through this workshop is a critical step toward implementing a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, our Coasts, and the Great Lakes (National Ocean Policy), as established by Executive Order under President Obama.

To engage the public in implementing CMSP in the United States, workshop participants will learn about CMSP and help shape how it can be used to help harmonize the often competing uses of these waters, such as national security, energy and economic security, and conservation. This national session will be followed by additional opportunities for public engagement through future regional workshops.

The National Ocean Policy sets a vision for America that ensures our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes are healthy and resilient, safe and productive, and understood and treasured so as to promote the well-being, prosperity, and security of present and future generations. To achieve this vision the National Ocean Policy establishes a comprehensive, collaborative, regionally based planning process called coastal and marine spatial planning. This process involves cooperative planning among Federal, State, and tribal authorities, and solicits extensive input from the public and stakeholders to develop an approach tailored to the unique needs of each region.

Waiting for wave energy

From: Oregon Business

By Lee van der Voo

At the center of the debate is an oyster. It has no shell, stands over three stories tall and the muscle of its jaw is a pair of hydraulic pistons. When it anchors to the ocean floor, it arrives on a crane. More than $80 million is behind the scouting effort for its next home.

The Oyster (capital O) is Aquamarine Power’s answer to ocean energy. It generates power by capturing waves and pushing them to drive a hydroelectric turbine onshore. Fashioned in arrays, an Oyster farm can generate 100 megawatts of power a year, more lucrative than pearls. For the past six years, Scotland-based Aquamarine Power has been intensely focused on deploying it in wave-rich parts of the world, Oregon included.

As the search to bed the Oyster off Oregon mounts, this hulk of technology has become a symbol of the state’s planning savvy for some, a case in point for why Oregon has spent nearly three years drawing invisible lines around the ocean, zoning where such projects can locate.

What is the Best Approach for Planning Uses of America’s Coastal Waters, Oceans?

From: Environmental Protection

Policymakers are very familiar with land-use planning. But what is the best approach for planning uses of America’s coastal waters and oceans? That question has gained importance since President Obama formed the National Ocean Council last summer and charged it with developing an ecosystem-based stewardship policy for the nation’s oceans, coastal waters and the Great Lakes.

A team of natural and social scientists led by Brown University offers some guidance. Published in the scientific journal Conservation Letters, the team’s paper offers policy recommendations based on a two-year investigation of marine protection efforts by more than two-dozen local and regional projects from California to Maine. The authors find no group has a one-size-fits-all solution to managing a marine or freshwater area. But they write that many have come up with individual practices that, when combined, could help create an effective national ocean-management policy.

“Every project is engaged in some new and effective ecosystem-based practices, but none of them is doing them all,” said Leila Sievanen, a postdoctoral researcher in the Center for Environmental Studies at Brown University and the paper’s lead author. “Together, though, they are demonstrating what could work on the national level.”

Ocean/Tidal/Stream Power: Identifying How Marine and Hydrokinetic Devices Affect Aquatic Environments


Significant research is under way to determine the potential environmental effects of marine and hydrokinetic energy systems. This work, being guided and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, is intended to address knowledge gaps and facilitate installation and operation of these systems.

By Glenn F. Cada, Andrea E. Copping, and Jesse Roberts

A relatively new generation of waterpower technologies, broadly categorized as marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) energy systems, offers the possibility of generating electricity from water without dams and diversions. The potential power that could be derived from currents, tides, waves, and ocean thermal gradients is enormous, and there are numerous plans in the U.S. and internationally to develop these technologies.

But because the concepts are new, few devices have been deployed and tested in rivers and oceans, and even fewer environmental studies of these technologies have been carried out. Thus, their potential environmental effects remain mostly speculative.1,2,3,4 Movement is under way, particularly by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), to perform the research necessary to address the uncertainties about the environmental effects of MHK technologies, with a view toward getting devices in the water.

EISA report to Congress

Schrader roundtable awash in ocean issues

From: South Lincoln County News

BY: Terry Dillman 


Marine spatial planning, the pros and cons of catch shares, and the plight of salmon fishermen were the main topics during a fishermen’s roundtable held Thursday afternoon at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

A panel of about 25 local, state and federal fishing industry leaders gathered to discuss those and related matters with U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader as part of the congressman’s series of public sessions in Lincoln County. Will Stelle, regional administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Northwest Region, started things off, joining the conversation via telephone from Portland.

Stelle said most of the news “is good, but not all of it,” noting the recent spate of “heavy weather” was a culprit in making things more difficult for fishermen.

He pointed to “an incredible crab season,” good water conditions, and good projections for coho and chinook salmon. He also noted the first year of the new “catch shares” program in the groundfish fishery, where there’s “a lot of learning going on,” and “frustration for folks on the water” over certain aspects, most notably the slow influx of observer data.

Ocean Zoning will affect all users; Poachers biggest threat to

From: SitNews.US


March 26, 2011

Alaska Senator Mark Begich is quick to name the issue that’s giving him the biggest earful so far in his new post as Chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Fisheries, and Coast Guard: “marine spatial planning.”  

The concept is listed as a top priority by the 2010 National Ocean’s Council which is already preparing to draft action plans on nine coastal/ocean objectives. It would affect all users and uses, on and beneath the oceans.

“I hear it over and over again,” Sen. Begich said in a phone call from D.C. “Let’s call it like it is, pure and simple – ocean zoning.” 

“I don’t think Dr. Lubchenco, the director of NOAA, appreciated my blunt categorization of it,” Begich added, “but as a former mayor, that’s what it is. You  are determining winners and losers in terms of utilization of the oceans, and that is what zoning does. 

 “What is the value in it?  And by what authority are they able to do this?”  he continued. “In land use zoning there is a whole process you must go through by law.  Here they are talking ocean zoning but there has yet to be any stakeholder involvement or economic analysis.”

GIS-based tool available to map marine projects

A tool called the Multipurpose Marine Cadastre provides baseline information needed for marine spatial planning efforts around the U.S., particularly those that involve finding the best location for renewable energy projects.

Users of this interactive tool can pick the ocean geography of their choosing and see information about:

– Jurisdictional boundaries and limits, including marine protected areas and federal fishery management areas;

– Federal georegulations, such as Clean Water Act Section 402 and the Endangered Species Act;

– Federal agency regions, such as the Environmental Protection Agency and National Park Service;

– Navigation and marine infrastructure, including oil and natural gas wells and transmission lines;

– Human use, such as proposed California hydrokinetic sites;

– Marine habitat and biodiversity, such as the Marine Mammal Protection Act; and

– Geology and seafloor, including undersea feature place names and bathymetric contours.

The tool features a map of the U.S. marked with the contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone, revenue sharing boundary, state seaward boundary, and territorial sea.

The Multipurpose Marine Cadastre allows users to perform measurements (distance and area) and draw boundaries using nautical miles, statute miles, and kilometers. Users can plot coordinates of latitude and longitude.

Fishermen criticize federal plans for coordinated ocean policy and planning efforts

From: Bangor Daily News

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

ROCKPORT, Maine — When it comes to establishing new federal policies and processes for reviewing and approving marine activities, fishermen say they should have a seat at the table.

The new national ocean policy created last summer by President Barack Obama does not give them one, several fishing industry officials told federal regulators Friday at the annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum. The policy lays out a top-down management structure, they indicated, which likely will result in adverse impacts on fishermen.

“We do not have the opportunity as fishermen to be directly involved in the process, and that concerns me,” said David Wallace of Wallace & Associates, a seafood consulting firm in Salisbury, Md.

The aim of the policy, according to federal officials, is to better coordinate the efforts of multiple federal agencies to plan and regulate activities in the country’s marine waters. The policy creates a Cabinet-level National Ocean Council and a regional approach to coastal and marine spatial planning. Marine spatial planning involves analyzing current and anticipated uses of ocean and coastal areas to identify the most suitable activities with the least conflict and environmental impact.

Scientists argue for a broader look at fisheries management


March 06, 2011 12:00 AM

It’s widely agreed that good fisheries regulation demands good science. We need to know how many fish are out there and what is happening to them.

But gaps in the science have spawned disputes between fishermen and regulators in the Northeast and, in response, fisheries scientists are offering a radically different approach to the way groundfish stocks are evaluated and managed.

Regulation is obsolete as it is now practiced, according to Steve Cadrin, associate professor at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology.

“Fisheries management based on single species population dynamics goes back to the 1950s,” said Cadrin, who also serves on the New England Fishery Management Council’s science and statistical committee.

But this fishery is multi-species, and single-species methods miss plenty and can be oversimplified and misleading, he said.

“If you sample the removals from a population and the age structure, you can get a good sense of a fish stock and how hard you can fish it,” he said. “But that simply ignores other species who are eating and being eaten by a single stock. And it also ignores the many environmental variables, such as hot years and cold years and times of high or low salinity.”

Seafood producers tackle ocean acidification at annual Summit


From 31 January to 2 February, more than 700 conferees from 30 countries convened at Seafood Summit 2011 in Vancouver, Bristish Colombia (BC). There they wrestled with how to improve the sustainability of commercial fishing and aquaculture.

Now in its ninth year, the event drew 40 per cent of its attendees from the seafood business. Industry personnel joined conservationists, researchers, and government officials in discussing a range of sustainability issues – marine spatial planning, traceability shortcomings, and next-generation aquaculture among them.

The toughest item on the agenda may well have been ocean acidification, which only recently has emerged as a major issue to those concerned with food security and the productivity of our seas.

Scientific and journalistic coverage of this problem has exploded; a search on Google Scholar shows more than 25,700 articles, most of them published since 2006.

Acidification results from CO2 in the atmosphere combining with sea water to form carbonic acid. The oceans absorb about a third of human society’s CO2 emissions every year.

Since the Industrial Revolution began, the ocean’s chemistry has changed hundreds of times more rapidly than in the 650,000 years that preceded it. 

U.S. water usage plan exposed

From: Tri-Parish


Approximately 160 members of the South Central Industrial Association were told last Tuesday of White House plans that if fully implemented could seriously hamper commercial and recreational use of the Gulf of Mexico and waterways feeding into it.

Jack Belcher, managing director for the National Ocean Policy Coalition, offered a power point presentation that outlined and documented efforts by the Obama administration to place restrictions and zoning ordinances on all offshore activity. A measure that Belcher claimed would basically be a moratorium on usage of natural resources.

Belcher introduced those in attendance to Executive Order 13547, through which President Barack Obama has established a national ocean policy and adopted an ocean zoning scheme referred to as Coastal Marine Special Planning.

Under a task force ordered by the White House, a 27-member National Ocean Council is being put in place to oversee policy implementation and become ultimate arbiters when dealing with disputes between federal interests and regional concerns.

The NOC is also being developed to enforce national policies and priorities compliance with federally mandated plans.

Study Shows Importance of Environmental Activists

Editor’s Note, the following is from CRE Brazil

Research from the University of Washington concluded that better-managed fishing areas are those that have meetings between local community representatives and fishermen. Where there is only government interaction, the results were worse.

Researchers monitored 130 regions in 44 countries using parameters like fishing species, fishing equipment used, the regulatory system, and earnings obtained and distributed among the fishing community.

One of the highlights was fishing for abalone (sea snails) in Chile, which was launched as a trial basis in 1988 and covered 400 kilometers of the coast. Today, the area covers 4,000 kilometers of the coast and brings together 20,000 artisanal fishermen.

Managing maritime economies

European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Maria Damanaki, tells Public Service Review about the conflicts and complements of maritime and financial environments

Since I took up my post as Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at the beginning of 2010, fisheries news has been somewhat overshadowed by the wider economic crisis.

And indeed, that crisis has only compounded the underlying contradictions which the fishing industry has been facing for a long time, without tackling them head on. It is my hope that the current climate, while difficult for some of our fleets, will help focus all our minds and wills on the need to make fundamental changes in the way we manage our fisheries.

It is the continuing short-term bias in our decision-making that creates so many conflicts between economic interests and ecological logic. If the EU fishing industry is to have a viable future, we need to get the environment and the economy working together, not against one another. The next reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is our best – and maybe our last – chance to fix this problem.

Fishermen voice concerns about impact of offshore wind farms


February 01, 2011 12:00 AM
NEW BEDFORD — Calling offshore wind turbines “the new frontier for renewable energy,” Daniel Cohen, head of an offshore wind company owned by fishermen, spoke to a small but lively crowd at the New Bedford Whaling Museum Monday.
Cohen is president of Fishermen’s Energy, made up of principals in several other New Jersey-based fishing companies who want a stake in how and where wind turbines are sited, he said.
“Offshore wind is happening,” said Cohen, who is also CEO of Atlantic Capes Fisheries, a New Jersey company that operates more than 20 fishing vessels.
Eight companies are currently proposing projects off Maryland, he said, and his company is one of the eight. “If we didn’t exist, seven of them would still be there,” he said.
But some of the fishermen in attendance Monday predicted further ruin for the industry if such projects become a reality.
“This is another flank we’re being attacked on,” Rhode Island fisherman Dick Grachek said. “We have been kept out of those areas because it’s a sensitive yellowtail spawning ground.”
Last December, the Obama administration announced its intention to encourage the development of wind energy in federal waters off the Massachusetts coast by offering leases to interested parties, with proposals due by Feb. 28.
“The import of this is that it will facilitate a faster time line for permitting in areas they consider appropriate for development,” Cohen said. The area proposed locally covers a 3,000-square-mile expanse of federal waters and includes sensitive fish habitat area and lucrative fishing grounds.
Turbines would be located a half-mile apart and, to prevent scouring by ocean currents, the base would be surrounded by a circle of large stones, 200 feet in diameter. In addition, a network of ground cables transmitting electricity would further hamper fishing operations, opponents maintain.
“The government is looking at marine spatial planning as a cash cow — nothing more, nothing less,” fisherman Joel Hovanesian of Rhode Island said. Apart from taxes, leases granted by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Offshore Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (formerly the Minerals Management Service) have become the principal revenue stream for the federal government, he said.
“I’m opposed to this because it won’t work,” said Ed Barrett, president of the Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership. “Not one shore-side facility will come offline from any of these projects.”
Asked whether he knew of any areas of the world where offshore turbines and commercial fishermen have successfully coexisted, Cohen said he could not say. “The data from Europe is not very good,” he said.

National Ocean Policy: What It Could Mean For the Nation and Alaska

Attached below are slides from:

2011 Meet Alaska Energy Conference — January 21, 2011

Brazil to Have Laboratory on the High Sea

Editor’s Note: The following is from CRE Brazil

One of the main scientific projects in Brazil in the following years is the creation of an oceanic laboratory to be constructed on the high sea. The idea was announced by economist Aloizio Mercadante, new Minister of Science and Technology. He explained that in the future research center, studies on the relationship between sea life and oil exploration will be developed.

“I have already talked to the Navy, Petrobras and some private companies about constructing the first oceanic laboratory on Brazil’s high sea. We are going to be located at the limit of the continental shelf, researching oceanic currents and sea life,” stated Mercadante.

Minerals at the Ocean Bottom Attract Large Businesses in Brazil

Editor’s Note: The following article is from CRE Brazil.

It is not just large deposits of oil discovered at the bottom of the ocean that are gaining the interest of large companies in Brazil. In the search for potassium, phosphate, limestone, iron and many other minerals, the number of requests to explore the areas have increased. From the beginning of 2009 through September 2010, the National Department of Mineral Research (DNPM) received 637 requests, compared to 56 in the two previous years for searches.

The research occurs throughout the 4.5 million square kilometers of the Brazilian continental shelf, areas called Amazônia Azul (Blue Amazon), depending on the richness of its biodiversity. The main uses for these minerals are for manufacturing fertilizers and for construction.

Two ways to look at the sea, and a search for objective facts


Some see the ocean as a trove of resources there to be harvested, others as a vast habitat inadequately protected. Now comes a quest for new data to inform their debate.

By C.B. Hall

January 06, 2011.

In the wake of President Barack Obama’s July executive order establishing a National Ocean Council, the eyes of environmentalists, researchers, and other interest groups throughout Washington state and beyond are turning towards the sea, with the realization that it remains the planet’s last frontier, where a vast trove of resources remains unexploited — and, in the view of many, a vast array of life forms remains inadequately protected.

To some, the primary problem is a dearth of knowledge about what happens on and below the 71 percent of the earth’s surface that consists of oceans. The closer one gets to shore, the more intense the range of often competing human uses of the sea becomes. With all their maritime traffic, recreational users, fisheries, and pollution sources, the waters that lap the shores of western Washington constitute a case in point.

Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Offshore Massachusetts–Request for Interest (RFI)


Dec 29, 2010 (FIND, Inc. via COMTEX) —

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) invites submissions describing interest in obtaining one or more commercial leases for the construction of a wind energy project(s) on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore Massachusetts. BOEMRE will use the responses to this RFI to gauge specific interest in commercial development of OCS wind resources in the area described, as required by 43 U.S.C. 1337(p)(3). Parties wishing to obtain a commercial lease for a wind energy project should submit detailed and specific information as described below in the section entitled, “Required Indication of Interest Information.” Also, with this announcement, BOEMRE invites all interested and affected parties to comment and provide information–including information on environmental issues and data–that will be useful in the consideration of the RFI area for commercial wind energy leases.

This RFI is published pursuant to subsection 8(p) of the OCS Lands Act, as amended by section 388 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) (43 U.S.C. 1337(p)(3)) and the implementing regulations at 30 CFR part 285.

Happy Birthday Wishes to the Data Quality Act

December 21, 2010 marks the tenth anniversary of the Data Quality Act (DQA), also known as the Information Quality Act, 44 U.S.C § 3516, note.

The DQA has deep roots developed over nearly a half-century as the result of a seed planted during the Johnson Administration which germinated in the Nixon Administration, was watered by the Carter Administration and whose product was harvested by the Reagan Administration, made available to the public in the Bush I Administration and subsequently enhanced by the Clinton Administration and promoted by the Bush II and Obama Administrations. See: and

The DQA was made possible by two crucial precursor actions: 1) establishment of a centralized regulatory review process; and 2) a statutory grant of authority to the Office of Management and Budget to manage the centralized regulatory review process.

The DQA recognizes the emergence of the internet as the primary means for federal information disseminations including publication of reports and other documents. Even though these publications are not the result of a rulemaking process they often have a material impact on persons and organizations; that is to say the reports constitute regulation by information and prior to the passage of the DQA they were not reviewable by the courts – an issue currently in play.

Largest U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Proposed for Rhode Island

From: Ocean & Offshore Energy Projects and Policy Blog

Rhode Island-based offshore wind developer Deepwater Wind submitted an application to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) to build the largest offshore wind project in the United States: a 200 turbine, 1,000-megawatt offshore wind project in Rhode Island Sound. The project, called the Deepwater Wind Energy Center, also includes a proposal for an undersea transmission network designed to stretch from Massachusetts to New York. The turbines and installation would cost an estimated $4.5 billion to $5 billion, and the transmission system will cost an additional $500 million to $1 billion.

If approved, the Deepwater Wind Energy Center will be installed in four phases, with construction starting in 2014. The first 50-turbine phase will go on line in 2015 with additional construction phases to follow.

The Deepwater Wind Energy Center proposal replaces Deepwater Wind’s 2008 proposal to construct a 350-megawatt, 100-turbine project. Deepwater Wind reports that the aggressive new proposal was motivated by technological innovations that increase energy generation potential while diminishing costs, as well as DOI’s recently announced “Smart from the Start” regulatory initiative.

Growing ocean acidification threatens marine life: UN

Cancun, Dec 3 (IBNS): A new United Nations-backed report warns that unless governments cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, ocean acidification will continue and have wide-ranging impacts on the health of the seas and the fish living in them.

The report, entitled “The Environmental Consequences of Ocean Acidification,” was launched on Thursday by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) at the UN climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico.

It confirms concerns about the effects of increased ocean acidity on the marine environment, warning that the future impact of rising emissions on the health of seas and oceans may be far greater and more complex than previously supposed.

“Ocean acidification is yet another red flag being raised, carrying planetary health warnings about the uncontrolled growth in greenhouse gas emissions. It is a new and emerging piece in the scientific jigsaw puzzle, but one that is triggering rising concern,” said Achim Steiner, UNEP’s Executive Director, urging governments to take action to address the issue.

“The phenomenon comes against a backdrop of already stressed seas and oceans as a result of over-fishing to other forms of environmental degradation. Thus the public might quite rightly ask how many red flags do governments need to see before the message to act gets through,” he said.

Shell’s Arctic Drilling Will Destroy Our Homeland And Culture

Editor’s Note:  The following story presents no data in support of its assertions regarding the impact of the proposed activities on marine mammals.

By Rosemary Ahtuangaruak

23 November, 2010

This week families across the country will be celebrating Thanksgiving—sharing food and telling stories. Here is my story about our food and culture that would be destroyed if Shell Oil gets the permit to drill for oil in our homeland—the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.

Since 1986 I lived in Nuiqsut, an Inupiat community on the Beaufort Sea coast of Arctic Alaska. In 1991 I graduated from the University of Washington Medex Northwest Physician Assistant program and was employed as a health aide in Nuiqsut for 14 years. Nearly 8 years ago I helped to found REDOIL (Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands) to represent my interests.

I have raised my family in Nuiqsut. I have one daughter, four sons, two granddaughters, and four grandsons. I live a very traditional lifestyle—hunting, fishing, whaling, gathering, and teaching our family and community members the traditional and cultural activities as my elders taught me. We hunt and eat various birds, including ptarmigan, ducks and geese; fish, including char, salmon, whitefish, dolly varden, grayling, pike, trout, and cisco; land mammals, including caribou, moose and muskox; and marine mammals, including bearded seals, walrus, beluga and bowhead whales. We harvest berries, plants roots and herbs. We work together in harvesting plants and animals.

Maryland Takes Major Step Forward In Offshore Wind Energy

From: Governor of Maryland 

Potential one gigawatt wind farm could generate thousands of jobs.

Governor Martin O’Malley and the Maryland Energy Administration today joined the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) in announcing a significant step forward in bringing offshore wind power generation to Maryland’s coast.

The federal government, which controls the Outer Continental Shelf, has accepted the planning recommendations of the Maryland Offshore Wind Task Force and today issued both a Request for Interest (RFI) and a map of an offshore wind leasing area in federal waters adjacent to Maryland’s Atlantic Coast.

Today’s announcement makes Maryland only the second state in the nation to reach this point in the process.

“Today’s announcement marks another step forward for Maryland’s new economy,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “By harnessing the outstanding wind resources off of Maryland’s coast, we can create thousands of green collar jobs, reduce harmful air pollution, and bring much needed, additional clean energy to Maryland.”

Governor O’Malley has made offshore wind a priority in Maryland’s efforts generate 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2022, citing the potential for job creation and the abundant wind resources available.

Garden Club of Virginia’s Conservation Forum examines ocean issues

Ocean Conservancy expert says solutions are simpler

By Kathy Van Mullekom, | 10:34 PM EDT, November 2, 2010

When federal agencies managing waters off Massachusetts learned an important shipping lane directed vessels through the heart of the feeding and breeding grounds of endangered right whales at Stellwagen Bank, the solution was soon simple:

Redirect ships 2 miles to the north and significantly reduce the likelihood of them striking whales.

It’s the kind of information that can be shared and a strategy implemented for the good of all concerned, according to Sandra Whitehouse, marine environmental policy adviser for the nonprofit Ocean Conservancy —

“A lot of it is about trying to be fair,” says Whitehouse, also team leader for the conservancy’s coastal and marine spatial planning program. Environmentalists like Whitehouse will work with the new National Ocean Council and its goals to protect the use and health of nine regions’ ocean, coastal and Great Lakes areas.

“It’s science based and participatory, and will include socio-economic goals.”

WCGA Schedules Marine Spatial Planning Workshops

By Chad Marriott

Portland, OR

In response to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s federal funding opportunity (“FFO”) to support Regional Ocean Partnerships (“ROPs”), the West Coast Governors’ Agreement on Ocean Health (“WCGA”) will hold workshops in California, Oregon, and Washington next month to help develop its proposal for a portion of the funding.

The WCGA is the ROP for the West Coast and as such will be engaging tribal governments, state and federal agencies, scientists and technical experts, and stakeholders to identify regional coastal and marine spatial planning priorities and needs that will support a coordinated response to the FFO.  Prior to the meetings, the WCGA will prepare a scoping document that will provide the foundation for workshop discussions.  The deadline for WCGA’s submission is December 10, 2010, so these meetings will be an essential way to engage in the process.

The meetings will take place at the following times and locations:

California Workshop:  Friday November 12, 2010, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, 50 California Street, Suite 2600, San Francisco, CA 94111 (lunch will be provided).

EU Communication on Marine Spatial Planning

The European Union has released a “Communication from the Commission on Maritime Spatial Planning in the EU – achievements and future development” (attached below)

The EU’s MSP Initiative “is the continuation of the work on Maritime Spatial planning which is part of the Integrated Maritime Policy. It is the announced follow-up to the Commission Communication “Roadmap on Maritime Spatial Planning: Achieving Common Principles in the EU”, adopted in 2008, which identified 10 key principles on Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) and launched a stakeholder discussion on the development of a common approach among Member States on MSP.”

Among the Initiative’s Objectives are “Forming the basis for an online stakeholder consultation on future EU action on MSP.”

CRE recommends that the EU model on their online stakeholder consultation process on CRE’s Ocean Zoning Interactive Public Docket.

Changing Tides in Offshore Wind

By Sharryn Dotson, Power Engineering magazine
October 13, 2010

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA — The U.S. is now making moves to get into the offshore wind business that the United Kingdom is currently leading in the number of installations and planned projects.

We all know NIMBY-ism played a big role in many offshore wind projects not being built in the United States. All that red tape, coupled with uncertainty over climate change legislation (although we now know there will not be anything in place in 2010) led to us falling behind the rest of the world. But it’s not too late to get in on the action!

With the Cape Wind project coming into fruition off the Massachusetts coast after a 10-year battle, other states say they now want to start offshore wind farms, especially with state mandated renewable portfolio standards looming. The Department of the Interior, the same department that approved Cape Wind, has signed an agreement with 10 East Coast states that establishes an Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium to promote the development of wind resources on the Outer Continental Shelf. The memorandum of understanding was signed between Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the governors of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.

Marine Spatial Planning Discussed at Yale

Yale Daily News

Communication between marine planning agencies needs to be improved, expert Sandra Whitehouse ’81 told students and faculty Monday at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Whitehouse argued that communication is vital when dealing with disasters such as the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

A 75-strong crowd gathered at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies to listen to Whitehouse, who has worked in marine policy and environmental consulting for more than 20 years, emphasise the necessity of science-based decision making when forming effective marine policies.Whitehouse argued that interagency communication is vital when dealing with disasters like the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Our objective is a healthy ocean,” Whitehouse said. “We do that with ecosystem based management, and our tool for that is marine spatial planning.”

Whitehouse said that one of the problems with marine planning is the contradicting laws surrounding the issue and the fractured agencies involved.

The lack of communication between these agencies was highlighted, Whitehouse said, when a spike in shark finning in New England waters disrupted the balance between populations of Bullnose Rays and scallops. These population changes damaged the commercial fishing industry, but could have been avoided with increased marine planning, she said.


 The Council on Environmental Quality has reviewed and reported on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement’s compliance with NEPA. CEQ’s review focuses on BOEM’s NEPA practices and procedures that are relevant to Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing.1
The Natural Resources Defense Council’s comments to CEQ’s (“NRDC’s Comments”) recommended, inter alia, that CEQ address the following substantive issues in its 30-day review…acoustic impacts on marine wildlife and fisheries.”2 NRDC further commented that

“Airgun surveys also have serious consequences for the health of fisheries, as they have been shown to dramatically depress catch rates of various commercial species (by 40- 80%) over large areas of ocean,8 leading fishermen in some parts of the world to seek industry compensation for their losses. The cumulative effects of seismic surveys combined with other noise-producing OCS activity, such as drilling, could both affect vital rates in populations of marine mammals and adversely affect certain fisheries. Given the significance of the potential impacts, uncertainties in the emerging science, and the difficulty of detecting demographic impacts in many marine species, MMS should be required to consider a worse-case scenario when evaluating the potential for adverse population-level effects.” 


Airgun surveys also have serious consequences for the health of fisheries, as they have been shown to dramatically depress catch rates of various commercial species (by 40- 80%) over large areas of ocean,8 leading fishermen in some parts of the world to seek industry compensation for their losses. The cumulative effects of seismic surveys combined with other noise-producing OCS activity, such as drilling, could both affect vital rates in populations of marine mammals and adversely affect certain fisheries. Given the significance of the potential impacts, uncertainties in the emerging science, and the difficulty of detecting demographic impacts in many marine species, MMS should be required to consider a worse-case scenario when evaluating the potential for adverse population-level effects.”   
See complete statement in the attachment hereto

CRE Announces 24/7 IPD Review of CEQ NEPA Recommendations to MMS

CEQ  has  issued its recommendations to MMS  for ways to imporove  its NEPA procedues as a result of the recent oil spill. In the comments to CRE    a number of our readers conclude  that MMS  has acted on incomplete information.

Accordingly CRE  is initiatiing a review of the CEQ  report .  The vechicle for the  review is the Ocean Zoning IPD .

Please  post your views on this matter by  clicking  on the comments tab on this post or in the alternative,  post  a detailed analysis with an  accompanying report by using the “Submit a post” capability to the right of this post.

An Environmental Attorney Agrees with Anadarko

CRE received a detailed response from an environmental attorney in response to Anadarko’s comments to CEQ. In particular Anadarko was concerned that CEQ was making recommendations before it  had spent sufficient time in gathering facts to define the problem.   The attached  comment submitted to CRE  from an environmental attorney supports the Anadarko conclusion. Read the attachment below.

Impact of CEQ Proposed NEPA Regulations on the Fishing Interests

On February 18, 2010, The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released four proposals to amend NEPA guidelines.  These proposals include:  (1) -revision of the use of categorical exceptions, (2) -revision of monitoring and mitigation procedures, (3)-consideration of Greenhouse Gases, and (4)-enhanced public tools for NEPA reporting.  The proposals to revise categorical exclusions and to require binding mitigation and monitoring requirements will cause substantial harm to commercial fishermen.  See the attachment below for greater detail.

CEQ’S NEPA Revision–Harm to Commercial Fishermen

What the NOC means for anglers


By Robert Montgomery
Special to

This is a column from Robert Montgomery for ESPN Outdoors. As a Senior Writer for BASS Publications, Montgomery has written about conservation, environment, and access issues for more than two decades. It’s part of a series of articles on the issue.

The deal is done and a structure is in place that could lead to the closure of at least some recreational fisheries.

As reported recently by, President Barack Obama used an executive order to implement “Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force,” released on July 19. That 96-page document is as notable for what it does not say as it is for what it does.

NRDC Comments on Seismic Exploration


 In endangered baleen whales, they [seismic airguns]  have been shown to both disrupt and mask communication – substantially compromising the animals’ ability to forage, find mates, and engage in other vital behavior – on population-level scales.

 Given the significance of the potential impacts, uncertainties in the emerging science, and the difficulty of detecting demographic impacts in many marine species, MMS should be required to consider a worse-case scenario when evaluating the potential for adverse population-level effects. 



The Council on Environmental Quality is reviewing the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement’s (“BOE”NEPA practices and procedures that are relevant to Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing. The Natural Resources Defense Council submitted comments on CEQ’s review (“NRDC’s Comments”).

NRDC’s Comments argue, inter alia, that the oil and gas industry’s offshore use of seismic airguns poses significant risks to marine mammals and fisheries.  NRDC’s Comments further argue that these risks must be addressed through changes in NEPA procedures. NRDC’s requested changes include rules and legislation that require BOE to defer to NOAA on seismic issues.  The National Marine Fisheries Service is the NOAA entity most directly involved with seismic issues.

What the NOC means for anglers

This is a column from Robert Montgomery for ESPN Outdoors. As a Senior Writer for BASS Publications, Montgomery has written about conservation, environment, and access issues for more than two decades. It’s part of a series of articles on the issue.

The deal is done and a structure is in place that could lead to the closure of at least some recreational fisheries.

As reported recently by, President Barack Obama used an executive order to implement “Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force,” released on July 19. That 96-page document is as notable for what it does not say as it is for what it does.

What it does not say is that recreational angling is a national priority deserving special status because of its unique and considerable value economically, socially, and historically, as well as its contributions to conservation.

That designation, which has been part of executive orders in previous administrations, would have afforded sports fisheries increased protection from closures by “marine spatial planning” — a broad term for the management of certain activities within marine areas.

Instead, recreational fishing could be thrown into the mix right along with commercial fishing, oil drilling, wind farms and other uses that the National Ocean Council (NOC) and nine regional planning groups will consider as they plot out how public waters will be utilized.

NOAA Reopens Commercial and Recreational Fishing Areas Closed by BP Blowout

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that NOAA will re-open 26,388 square miles of Gulf of Mexico waters to commercial and recreational fishing on July 29, 2010. This amounts to a third of the overall area closed as a result of the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout.

NOAA announced the reopening after consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration FDA  and under a re-opening protocol agreed to by NOAA, the FDA, and the Gulf states.  NOAA’s press release explains, “Since mid-June, NOAA data have shown no oil in the area, and United States Coast Guard observers flying over the area in the last 30 days have also not observed any oil. Additionally, trajectory models show the area is at a low risk for future exposure to oil, and fish caught in the area and tested by NOAA experts have shown no signs of contamination.”

NOAA emphasized the critical role that science played in its decision to reopen this area.  Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said, “Following the best science for this re-opening provides important assurance to the American people that the seafood they buy is safe and protects the Gulf seafood brand and the many people who depend on it for their livelihoods.”

Taiwan to host international food security, fishery forums

Taipei, July 29 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Thursday that plans for international forums on fishery and food security in Taipei next month are a sign that Taiwan is engaging itself more with the international community.

The International Fishers’ Forum (IFF) will gather officials and scholars from 25 countries from Aug. 3-5, while the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Food Security Forum will be held in Taiwan for the first time from Aug. 18-20, according to Lily Hsu, director-general of MOFA’s Department of International Organization.

The IFF will be co-hosted by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (WPRFMC), a U.S. federal organization tasked with managing and implementing laws governing fishing activity, and Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency under the Council of Agriculture (COA), she said at a press briefing.

As Taiwan has one of the largest fishing fleets in the world, its engagement in the international fishery community is welcomed, Hsu said, adding that the fact the WPRFMC invited Taiwan to co-host the forum shows that Taiwan’s efforts in fishery conservation have been recognized.

The central objective of the IFF is to bring the fishing industry into the relatively recent dialogue of marine spatial planning and management.

Louisiana could benefit from a comprehensive ocean policy: An editorial

The Times-Picayune

Obama administration officials point to the Deepwater Horizon disaster as proof that the country needs the new comprehensive ocean policy it released last week, and the spill is certainly a dramatic example of the environment’s fragility and the overlapping interests at work off our shores. 

The BP spill has fouled beaches and wetlands, chased away tourists, closed fisheries and led to a blanket deepwater drilling moratorium — impacts that hit many people and many different economic sectors. It is a good illustration of the need for a comprehensive approach to managing and protecting the nation’s coasats, oceans and Great Lakes.

But for South Louisianians, the spill is only the latest example of how critical oceans and coasts are to our lives, and how poorly we’ve been served by the current, fragmented approach to taking care of these vital resources.

Louisiana has suffered decades of coastal wetlands loss, due to human activity as well as natural forces, a destructive trend that leaves us far more exposed to tropical storms and hurricanes. Residents here watch a vast dead zone form off Louisiana’s shore every summer, but there’s little effort to reduce the cause — agricultural runoff from the Midwest. We’ve seen fisheries pushed to near collapse by overfishing. And we’ve seen new industries eager to rush in, with little thought to possible negative consequences — liquefied natural gas ports are one example; open ocean fish farming is another.

Thank you Mr. President!

From Fly Rod + Reel Online

Submitted by Ted Williams on Tue, 07/20/2010 – 12:01.

And of course, the bottom feeders are cursing him. This from the “More Dead Fish For Us” crowd:

Executive Order Circumvents Tired Old Democratic Process
(7/20/1010) Washington, DC – President Barack Obama used his presidential privilege on July 19 to circumvent the legislative process, signing a new ocean protection law that’s vastly similar to legislation which has languished in Congress for nearly a decade. While environmental groups are hailing it a momentous day for America’s oceans, the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) said these are sad times for our democratic process.

“Rep. Sam Farr of California has been pushing this ideological hogwash through the House for nearly 10 years, but every time his doomsday bill gets debated in Committee it is tossed out for being utter nonsense and a bureaucratic nightmare,” said RFA Executive Director, Jim Donofrio. “Our President appears to be infatuated with nonsense and bureaucracy, and once again proves that his authority to rule is more powerful than the legislative process alone, signing his name to decrees as if he were king.”

NOAA Is Reviewing Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale

On July 14, 2010, the Office of the National Marine Sanctuaries of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric  Administration published Federal Register notice that it has initiated a review of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary management plan.  One purpose of this review is to evaluate substantive progress toward implementing the goals for the sanctuary.  Another purpose is to make revisions to its management plan and regulations as necessary to fulfill the purposes and policies of the NMSA and the Hawaiian Islands National Marine Sanctuary Act.

NOAA anticipates that completion of the revised management plan and concomitant documents will require approximately thirty-six months from the date of publication of their July 14th  Notice of Intent in the Federal Register. The management plan review process occurs concurrently with a public process under the National Environmental Policy Act.

NOAA will consider all comments on issues related to the continued management of Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary if NOAA receives them on or before October 16, 2010.

For further information contact Malia Chow, Policy Advisor, Telephone (808) 397-2651, or read NOAA’s Federal Register notice at

NGOs’ Seismic Complaint Is Factually Suspect

On June 30, 2010, several NGOs filed a complaint in a New Orleans federal court. Their complaint alleges that the Department of the Interior and what used to be the Minerals Management Service have violated several federal laws regulating the sue of seismic airguns during oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere. A copy of their complaint is available online at a href=”

Their complaint is either deliberately or negligently misleading. For example, their complaint alleges that in 2002

“endangered adult humpback whales were reported to have stranded in unusually high numbers along Brazil’s Abrolhos Banks, where oil-and-gas surveys were being conducted.”

“Based on this and other evidence, the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission, one of the world’s leading bodies of marine biologists, concluded in its 2004 report that the increase in noise from geophysical exploration and other activities was “cause for serious concern, and the IWC has since held special symposia related to the impacts of seismic surveys of whales.”

Their complaint fails to note that everyone including the IWC has concluded that seismic did not cause the Brazilian whale standings.

Recent Journal Articles on Ocean Zoning

Several articles have identified marine spatial planning by a more informative title, ocean zoning.

Comments on “A comment prepared by several dozen environmental organizations on the CEQ Interim Report on Ocean Zoning/Marine Spatial Planning”

Todd R. Burns is a District of Columbia and Maryland barred attorney specializing in renewable energy law and advocacy. Mr. Burns has worked in both the federal (EPA, CEQ, DOE) and the private sector (The Stella Group, Ltd), on a variety of issues including environmental law, information and privacy law, renewable energy, and National Environmental Policy Act litigation.

Comment to the OZ Enviro Comments

Attached is Peter Basanti’s comments on the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force report.

comment[1].doc (44 KB)

CRE Comments on IOP Task Force Interim Repor

Attached are CRE’s comments on the Interim Report of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force.

CRE welcomes discussion and comment on its analysis.

CRE Establishes a Forum for Public Comments Submitted to CEQ on Ocean Zoning

In accord with the President’s emphasis on transparency and open government, CRE is posting a comment prepared by several dozen environmental organizations. The comment is attached hereto.The public is encouraged to comment on the comments made by the environmental groups. CRE will analyze the resultant comments and submit them to CEQ.

CRE has also submited comments on the President’s Ocean Zoning Inititative and they are available at

CRE also encourages the public to comment on CRE’s comments. In developing its comments, CRE provided the public with an opportunity to comment on a draft of the CRE comments; the comments CRE received are available at

The public can submit comments by simply typing their views in the form below. No registration is needed; anonymous comments are accepted. If you wish to provide a comment with an attachment, you should use the Discussion Forum at

CRE Brazil Recommendations Are Alarming

CRE Brasil’s endorsement in its White Paper of Professor Sicialono’s conclusions in the Field Guide entitled, “Whales, River Dolphins, and Dolphins in the Campos Basin”(“Whale Report”), and request for inclusion in the International Whaling Commission’s agenda (IWC) is alarming. The conclusion reached in the Whale Report is that oil and gas exploration and production in the Campos Basin area do not constitute a threat to marine mammals. CRE Brasil’s endorsement is alarming because of the potential consequences of the Whale Report’s conclusion, which is based upon the premise that “everything is done with the greatest care” regarding oil and gas exploration and production.

See attachment for complete text of comments.

CRE Brasil Transmits Brazilian Field Guide to the IWC with Recommendations: Seeks Public Comment

The landmark Brazilian study entitled: WHALES, RIVER DOLPHINS, AND DOLPHINS IN THE CAMPOS BASIN, BRAZIL was transmitted to the International Whaling Commission with recommendations by CRE Brazil. The recommendations included actions to further regulate whale watching and to emphasize protective measures : pollution preventiion, ship traffic and fishing and cease undue emphasis on seismic operations

CRE welcomes public comment om this discussion forum.

The two docments to comment on are attached herewith.

CRE Response to Comments

CRE Response to Comments on
Its Draft Analysis of Section 5 of E.O. 13158

We very much appreciate the comments on the CRE draft comments submitted by Mr. Wehrly and Ms. Hervic. Such comments are very useful in identifying potential errors, omissions, or the need for clarification. Below are our tentative responses to what we perceive as the main points in the comments. If the commenters believe we have misunderstood their points, or wish to make additional points, we presume that they will send us additional comments sufficiently prior to September 21, 2009 (when public comments to MMS are due) so that we can give them adequate consideration prior to making our filing.

Because there is some overlap between the Wherly and Hervic comments, we are responding to them together.

ResponsetocommentsonCREanalysisofsec5ofEO8.19.09.doc (42 KB)

Draft Proposed 5-Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2020-2015:

By Joëlle Hervic

Joëlle Hervic is a litigation attorney, specializing in environmental law. Ms. Hervic’s experience includes Clean Water Act, CERCLA, water law, global climate change, and human rights law. Ms. Hervic’s focus has been on environmental law as an Associate Attorney with an AmLaw 200 law firm, as a consultant with the World Bank and with Waterkeeper Alliance. As Senior Attorney with Waterkeeper Alliance, Ms. Hervic was responsible for addressing deficiencies in the regulation and enforcement of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay from agricultural sources, in particular from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.

Following is a response to CRE’s Working Draft Comments on the Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service’s (“MMS”)) Draft Proposed 5-Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2010-2015 (“DPP”). I would like to preface these comments to first give credit to the CRE for providing an accessible forum to the public regarding important issues that concern us all, for encouraging public comments and inviting all points of view.


Comments on The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness Comments on NOAA’s Proposes System of Marine Protected Areas

Comments on The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness Conclusions on OCS Leasing and MPAs.
Representing the Alliance of Communities for Sustainable Fisheries (

I would like to provide comments on Mr. Tozzi’s “analysis” and also on comments regarding a response received from Mr. Steve Nelson of George Mason University.

My organization represents recreational and commercial fishing men and women of the Central Coast in California, along with their communities. We have a great deal of experience in dealing with California’s Marine Protected Area process, the designation and management of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and the recent effort by the Monterey Sanctuary to create additional Marine Protected Areas within the Sanctuary (which is in itself an MPA.)

First I will reiterate a written comment which the ACSF provided to the NOAA MPA Center regarding nominations for MPAs. Our comment was in regard to the nomination and acceptance of the California Marine Life Protection Act MPAs into the network. We commented that if this network was accepted into the Federal network, without any analysis it would indicate an inherent flaw in the nomination system for MPAs. To be specific, regarding the California MPA’s:

Comments to CRE Comments on Draft Leasing Program

Draft Proposed 5-year Outer Continental Shelf
Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2010

Comments on the Comments of The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness
By Stephen Wehrly

Mr. Wehrly is an attorney and lobbyist who in 2008 represented an international environmental advocacy organization in Washington, DC, on offshore drilling and related issues, and, for twelve years, an Indian Tribe in Washington state involved in regional environmental and natural resources issues. For 29 years, Mr. Wehrly lobbied legislative and rulemaking venues in Washington, DC, and Washington State on behalf of business, association, and citizen action clients. This paper presents the views and arguments of Stephen Wehrly alone.

Oil and Sakhalin Whales

Herein I present recent information on the impacts of seismic activites on gray whales near Sakahlin, Russia.
— Steve Nelson

crc_sakhalin_1aug.doc (1004 KB)

The Challenge of Managing 1,700 MPAs

There are currently 1,700 MPAs, designated and managed by federal, State, territorial and local agencies. Effectively balancing oil and gas development and production while ensuring the avoidance of harm to the environment becomes an overwheling task for the Department of the Interior. Would each (MPA) exploration case be examined in a case-by-case basis and how would decisions be made. The Department of the Interior would have to make a decision as to which is the current highest priority (i) oil and gas development and production, or (ii) avoiding harm to natural and cultural resources. From an administrative standpoint is does not seem feasible to have to manage this process by each MPA or to have the responsibility placed to both explore and “avoid harm” as I do not think this would be possible.

Posted by Seth Brecher, D.C. Teaching Fellows and Masters Degree Candidate in Higher Education at George Washington University

Similarities Between 1981 and 2009 (versus May 2000)

As indicated on page 2 of the CRE report, President Clinton issued Executive Order 13158 on May 26, 2000. In May 2000, the approximate price of crude oil was $35.00 a barrel (inflation adjusted) and the stocl market was soaring with the Dow at approximately 11,000. Additionally, the geopolitical climate, in particular, America’s relationships with oil producing nations (e.g. Venezuela, Iran, etc.) was very different than it is today. I would argue, in fact, that when the D.C. Circuit Court ruled in 1981 in “State of California ex rel Brown” that development of oil and gas resources on the OCS must be considered the primary objective of the act, the economic and geopolitical climate of the time (1981) is more similiar to the one we face in 2009 that when President Clinton signed Executive Order 13158 in May 2000. As a nation, our current economic and geopolitical climate are far different than just nine years ago. In fact, I would argue, that when looking at legal precedent the D.C. Court ruling in 1981 is far more relevant than the E.O. 13158 given the current challenges the U.S. faces. I favor environmental concern and the limitation of “harm” to natural resources during the exploration process. However, I do not believe it is realistic to expect to “avoid harm” to the environment during this process. Unfortunately, effective exploration and some harm or disruptions to the environment are mutually exclusive.

Legal Perspective on E.O. 13158

The appended is “A Legal Perspective on the ‘Avoid Harm’ Provision of E.O. 13158.” I support any efforts to ensure the continued viability of the marine protected areas, and I also favor industrial development of America’s natural resources. I offer this paper to ensure that your legal arguments are sound when you go to Court, regardless of your perspective on environmental protection vs. development (if there has to be a “versus”).

-Catherine Park, Esq.

Legal Perspective on EO 13158.doc (48 KB)

Seismic operations have de minimis impact on marine mammals

This is an interesting area of research and law. The sample size of the studies, for example, 12 or 20 sperm whales, seem to be too small to extrapolate to the whale community at large. Also, are these whales from a singular pod, are they related? Is there a leader of this group? If so, any avoidance of the noises, or lack of avoidance could be due to the preferences of the leader, which would mean the studies are based on one whale, or whales that are related in any case. Also, my understanding is that sperm whales dive deep to catch their prey so the surface noises would seem to have little, if any, effect on the foraging or deep-sea fishing, if you will, of the sperm whale. It seems more studies are needed to determine the effects, if any of the noises on the whales.

Scott Madsen, esq. I have practiced environmental law since 1998 involving (NEPA), the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the TSCA, RCRA and CERCLA.

Considerations for NOAA MPAs

Herein I provide “Considerations regarding NOAA’s Proposed System of Marine Protected Areas: A review of recent comments from the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness.”
— Steve Nelson

MPA_Considerations.doc (354 KB)

CRE Comments to OSTP

CRE has sent the attached comments to the Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) in response to their Federal Register notice requesting public input on their updating of the 2007 document, “Charting the Course for Ocean Science in the United States for
the Next Decade: An Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy.”

CRE requested that OSTP make all comments public as soon as possible so that they can be posted on the Ocean Zoning IPD. Once the comments are posted, CRE will invite all interested persons to comment on the public submissions. CRE will prepare a public report based on: 1) the comments sent to OSTP; and 2) the discussion of those comments on the IPD.

CRE Charting the Course Comments.pdf (63 KB)

The Implications of the NOAA National System of Marine Protected Areas on the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

CRE invites public comment on the following paper, attached hereto,  which will provide one basis for CRE supplying comments to MMS on its five year OCS program.

Short comments can be submitted by clicking on comments below; more detailed comments, particuarly if there is an attachment thereto, should be presented as a separate submission by “Submit a Post” to the right.

You can append an attachment to your separate submission by clicking on “Browse” to the right, which will allow you to download a file from your documents section.

MMS MPA Five Year Plan Conflict ….pdf (114 KB)

CRE Paper on the National System for Marine Protected Areas Available for Public Comment

CRE invites public comment on the following paper, attached hereto,  which will provide one basis for CRE supplying comments to MMS on its five year OCS program.

Short comments can be submitted by clicking on comments below; more detailed comments, particuarly if there is an attachment thereto, should be presented as a separate submission by “Submit  a Post” to the right.

You can append an attachment to your separate submission by clicking on “Browse” to the right, which will allow you to download a file from your documents section.

Yet Another Grab For Power

This is yet another grab for power by an out-of-control Federal Government. Does no one read the Constitution?

U.S. Constitution: Tenth Amendment
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The Federal Government has plenty to do (like their jobs as outlined in the Constitution), without adding this juggernaut of new laws and the powers they deliver (out of the hands of the People and the States) to un-elected Bureaucrats.

US citizens will benefit from planful instead of random ocean zoning

If you are not aware that the US already uses ocean zoning in a great variety of ways, this new initiative might sound like additional government interference. But that is not the case. We already have ocean zoning but it is not well organized, nor does it balance the needs of the many sectors that depend upon ocean resources. The new initiative is a chance to achieve this balance. This initiative will make our use of our territorial waters more sustainable, more organized, more effective, more fair, and more beneficial to US citizens. Most important, we need this to hand our children a healthier ocean than the one we have today.

Ocean Zoning???

What a crock of xxx  this is. With the problems of the Democrats in power it would seem that they would have some meaningful priorites instead of this enviornmental xxx .[editors note: please no profanity].

Posts Are Anonymous Unless You Type Your Email Address Or Name

State-of-the art technology allows you to merely type a title in the box to the right, them type the text and scroll down to “Send” and click on it.

If you wish to include an attachment, click on “Browse”. download the attachment from your “documents” section on your computer and clck on “Upload Now”, then click on “Send”.

All post are anonymous unless resopondent types in name, email or organization.

There are a number of topics on this page dealing with ocean zoning. All posts on this site are interactive, simply click on” comments ” in upper left hand corner of this post and submit a comment , or in the alternative, submit a new article by using the box to the right.

Give NOAA’s MPA Federal Advisory Committee A Real Job

NOAA’s Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Federal Advisory Committee has the responsibility for commenting on NOAA’s MPA program. Notwithstanding its well defined charter, NOAA is not using the committee to address major policy issues.

CRE has recommended that OSTP, working with OMB,  require that  federal advisory committees  give the public the right to comment on their proposed agendas.

What are your views?

Read the CRE comments in the attachment hereto.

FACA Ocean