Headline for Featured Item #1 Harte Research Institute to Help Set National Ocean Policy Agenda - Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
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Harte Research Institute to Help Set National Ocean Policy Agenda

February 20, 2013


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Dr. Larry McKinney, Executive Director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI), and Dr. Richard McLaughlin, Endowed Chair for Marine Policy and Law, were selected to be part of a distinct group of national leaders in ocean policy, science, and conservation.  

The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative hosted the Setting the Ocean Agenda for the Administration and Congress meeting February 19-20 in Washington, D.C. The meeting convened ocean leaders representing multiple perspectives to provide input on ocean policy,science, and funding priorities and identify specific actions that can be taken by the Obama Administration and Congress to advance those priorities. The Joint Initiative will use input from the meeting to develop an ocean agenda that outlines its recommendations for actions that the Administration and Congress should carry out in the next two to four years. The Joint Initiative will present this ocean agenda to the Administration and Congress in spring 2013.

“I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this effort,” said Dr. McKinney. “I can only applaud the Joint Ocean Commission for bringing all of us together. It is a very impressive list of participants.”

McKinney and McLaughlin joined the directors of Scripps Oceanographic Institute and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute as the only representatives of marine research and ocean science participating in the meeting. HRI is the only academic organization, other than Stanford University, to have more than one representative participating and the only one to have two representatives from one institution – HRI.  Other participants included a diverse mix of leading national organizations, like the Nature Conservancy, Ocean Conservancy, the American Petroleum Institute, International Association of Drilling, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

“We face many challenges in developing ocean policies that both protect the ecological health of our oceans and enjoy the economic benefits they can provide,” said Dr. McLaughlin. “It is these types of efforts that provide a meaningful and comprehensive way forward.”

The hosting organization was the Joint Ocean Commission. Established in 2005, the Joint Initiative is a bipartisan collaboration of senior leaders representing a diversity of viewpoints and interests in our oceans and includes former members of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and Pew Oceans Commission. The Joint Initiative’s primary goal is to accelerate the pace of change that results in meaningful ocean policy reform. The Joint Initiative pursues this goal in a number of ways, including convening ocean leaders from diverse viewpoints, identifying priorities and opportunities for action, effectively communicating the recommended actions to key decision makers at the federal and state levels, and assessing progress on those actions.

As the second term of the Obama Administration begins, the Joint Initiative sees an important opportunity to identify high priority actions for addressing pressing ocean issues and to effectively communicate recommendations to the Administration and Congress that clearly articulate what specific actions they need to take to address these important issues.

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