White House announces US strategies for sustainable ocean management

U.S. President Joe Biden
The White House announced a trio of new ocean strategies in June | Photo courtesy of Shutterstock/Consolidated News Photos
4 Min

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has issued a trio of new federal strategies for sustainable ocean development.

“President Biden has been leading the most ambitious climate and conservation agenda in history while accelerating locally led conservation efforts, creating good-paying jobs, and enhancing coastal community resilience to the effects of climate change,” White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory said. “The reports announced help us better understand how to achieve our shared conservation and ecosystem restoration goals and integrate climate action and environmental justice into a sustainable ocean economy.”

The first of the three strategies the U.S. National Strategy for a Sustainable Ocean Economy will guide “ocean policies to conserve healthy ecosystems, support resilient communities, and advance sustainable economic development,” according to the White House.

The second strategy the National Ocean Biodiversity Strategy was developed by a team led by NOAA and the Smithsonian to help the federal government understand and restore ocean life by expanding the use of biodiversity information. The three-pronged strategy calls for the federal government to coordinate ocean research and conservation across the country, strengthen the information pipeline, and conduct listening sessions to understand the biodiversity needs of different interest groups.

“We are confronting biodiversity loss and its implications for human well-being, alongside the challenges posed by climate change and social inequity,” Smithsonian Undersecretary for Science and Research Ellen Stofan said. “But, we hold the power to overcome these obstacles with a united, society-wide effort to preserve nature and its benefits.”

Finally, the National Aquatic eDNA Strategy is designed to advance low-cost and fast eDNA technologies to help scientists better understand what species are present in bodies of water. The White House said eDNA is much more efficient than the current method of conducting censuses for individual species.

“Earth’s ocean makes life possible. It hosts vibrant ecosystems, feeds billions of people, sustains livelihoods, and connects us all,” White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Arati Prabhakar said. “These reports point the way to work with this precious natural resource to address inequities and injustice and to meet the challenges of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss.”

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