Regulatory Brief

 National Policy for Oceans, Coasts & Great Lakes - (Part 1)


Formal title: Presidential Memorandum for Establishing a National Oceans Policy

On June 12, 2009, President Obama issued a memorandum instructing the heads of Executive Departments to develop a National Oceans Policy for the U.S.


Brief Description:

The President's memorandum established an Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, lead by the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to:

  1. Within 90 days from the date of this memorandum, develop recommendations that include:
    1. A national policy that ensures the protection, maintenance, and restoration of the health of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems and resources, enhances the sustainability of ocean and coastal economies, preserves our maritime heritage, provides for adaptive management to enhance our understanding of and capacity to respond to climate change, and is coordinated with our national security and foreign policy interests.
    2. A United State Framework for policy coordination of efforts to improve stewardship of the oceans, our coasts, and the Great Lakes.
    3. An implementation strategy that identifies and prioritizes a set of objectives the United States should pursue to meet the objectives of a national policy for the oceans, our coasts, and the Great Lakes.
  2. Within 180 days form the date of this memorandum, the Task Force shall develop, with appropriate public input, a recommended framework for effective coastal and marine spatial planning.
  3. The framework should also address specific recommendations to improve coordination and collaboration among Federal, State, tribal, and local authorities.
The AVMA was invited to an initial CEQ meeting on July 28, 2009. Participants were invited to comment on the concepts presented

AVMA Response:

The AVMA recognizes the President's concern for the health of our nation's waterways and the need to develop a national policy for the oceans, our coasts and the Great Lakes. The veterinary profession deals with the health and welfare of all animals, including both aquatic and terrestrial. The AVMA is also involved with the One Health Initiative, a concept grounded in the need to coordinate collaborations between physicians, veterinarians, and other scientific-health related disciplines. Veterinary medical expertise includes knowledge of epidemiology and the prevention, control, and treatment of aquatic diseases, including those that may be zoonotic and would directly impact human health. Veterinarians are also involved with animal health in aquaculture, animal agriculture and the inspection of animal product foods we consume.

Background Documents:

Presidential memorandum of June 12, 2009 (PDF)

July 29, 2009 Letter (PDF)