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|Farr Ocean Resolution Passes House|
The text of the resolution included a list of findings that are now held as the official opinion of the House. Those findings include text agreeing that the ocean is directly linked to climate change and is in need of policies that support ecosystem-based management and marine spatial planning.
This is the first resolution of its kind and is notable for including the climate change and spatial planning sections.
Rep. Farr is the author of Oceans-21 (H.R. 21), comprehensive ocean management legislation that includes a national ocean policy and creates regional and national management mechanisms. The bill largely mirrors preliminary findings from President Obama's Ocean Policy Task Force and provides legislative language to put much of the report into law.
Following passage of the resolution, Rep. Farr released the following statement:
"My resolution recognized World Ocean Day, but it's going to take a lot more than observances to safeguard our ocean--we need action.
The growing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico should serve as a siren call that we must no longer tolerate the lack of a national ocean policy. We have no comprehensive policy to guide our use of the ocean, and that leaves our largest public trust in dire danger.
I believe my Oceans-21 legislation was primed to move last year, but it was put on hold until the president's Ocean Policy Task Force could release its recommendations. After two preliminary reports, we continue to wait for the president's announcement on how he plans to craft the country's ocean policy.
I believe the time for waiting is over.
The oil continues to spew in the Gulf of Mexico. We continue to delay addressing ocean acidification, a potentially calamitous development that could result in the killing off of coral, shellfish and entire fish populations. We struggle with policies to address overfishing and the loss of marine and coastal habitats. And we see more and more harmful algal blooms, hypoxic events and marine debris.
I truly hope we won't have to wait much longer for action. I call on the president to step up to the plate and display leadership on this vital issue."
Text of the resolution is available here: http://www.farr.house.gov/images/stories/Documents/hres1330.pdf.
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