Support the National Ocean Policy (NOP) and the National Endowment for the Oceans (NEO)

This is a reminder that we are still collecting signatures for a sign on letter to Members of Congress in support of the National Ocean Policy (NOP) and the National Endowment for the Oceans (NEO). We are concerned that because of pressure from Texas Representative Bill Flores, the final version will include an amendment damaging to the NOP and ocean planning efforts. We are also hopeful that when the negotiations are over the final version of the law will establish the National Endowment for the Ocean (NEO). Both the NEO and the NOP provisions of the bill are attached for your reference. We would like to send a strong letter to every Member of Congress participating in the negotiation to urge them to do the right thing. There is additional background below on the specifics. Thank you for taking the time to review these materials and please feel free to reach out with questions.

WHAT: sign on to letter to Members of Congress negotiating the WRDA bill

DEADLINE: sign on by Friday, Nov. 15

WHAT TO SEND WITH YOUR SIGN ON: your full name, organization name and/or your title (if you would like), and the city and state where you are from (this helps us sort signatures by state/Member of Congress)

WHO TO CONTACT: Send your sign on info to Adam Mistler (amistler@oceanconservancy.org)

BACKGROUND:

The National Endowment for the Oceans – NEO for short – is a bi-partisan effort to ensure that present and future generations benefit from the ecological, economic, cultural, and recreational resources of our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes. It is included in the Senate bill. NEO will help set up an endowment supporting work by state, regional, tribal, and federal entities, as well as nonprofit organizations and academic institutions. The endowment will assist these groups when undertaking activities that protect ocean resources. The endowment will also assist groups with developing the baseline science, monitoring, and observation data to create better ocean uses that will create jobs and support coastal economies.

Conversely, the Flores Amendment seeks to prohibit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a key coastal and ocean management agency, from coordinating with coastal states. This means that even though many states are conducting planning efforts to help protect their ocean resources and support their state’s ocean economy, they would not be able to coordinate with the Army Corps on any projects. This amendment is a bad idea as it weakens the ability of states to carry out proper ocean planning for the future of its citizens.

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Susan Little Olcott

Outreach Manager, Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning

Ocean Conservancy

Phone: 207.721.0180

Mobile: 207.807.8700

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