President’s panel seeks input on ocean policy plan
Public comment is sought on the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan drafted by the President’s National Ocean Council. Executive Order 13547, Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes, established the Council to guide over 50 specific actions the Federal Government will undertake to improve the health of our waters and shores. For example, the Administration aims to make it easier to permit aquaculture without compromising health and environmental standards. This could be beneficial to the Northern Marianas economy. Last year, Northern Marianas College cosponsored a well-received symposium on open ocean cage aquaculture, which could be affected positively by streamlining the permit process. Comments on the Implementation plan are due no later than February 27, 2012, and may be submitted at http://www.whitehouse.gov/webform/submit-comments-draft-implementation-plan. Comments may also be sent by fax to “Attn: National Ocean Council” at (202) 456-0753, or by mail to: National Ocean Council, 722 Jackson Place, NW, Washington, DC 20503. The Council aims to finalize the Plan in 2012.