While states take the lead in planning for ocean protection, the U.S. federal government lags behind. This editorial from The Washington Post calls on the federal government to make like its states and commit to protecting the oceans.
"Over the past three years, California, acting to preserve a vital state resource, has developed an Ocean Action Plan; launched the most comprehensive approach to marine protected areas in the nation; and invested more than $30 million in projects to improve water quality, protect ocean habitats and manage sand on its beaches. In the past year, at least 18 states have taken similar steps. Regional, bipartisan alliances were formed to protect the waters, shores, species and economies of the Gulf of Mexico, New York, Puget Sound and the West Coast."
"In all of these instances, governors prioritized ocean management and set aside individual state concerns to develop a more effective plan to manage the region's oceans and coasts."
"When it comes to managing our oceans, the United States is barely treading water, threatening not only the survival of ocean life but also the lives and livelihoods of those who depend on the ocean as a food source and economic engine."
"The federal government and Congress lag behind states in efforts to protect our oceans. And the failure to commit funding and to reform national and international policy for the long-term preservation of our oceans will hamper additional progress in the states."