Biden Administration Issues Visionary Conservation Measures

WASHINGTON — As part of a larger package of land and ocean conservation measures, the Biden administration today announced the first Ocean Climate Action Plan, which includes a host of initiatives relating to responsible offshore wind, marine protected areas to enhance biodiversity, and enhancing fisheries and coastal resilience. 

The following is a statement by Christy Goldfuss, chief policy impact officer at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):  

“The Biden Administration’s bold, inclusive conservation vision for our lands and waters will set us on the right path to fight the climate and nature crises. 

"The Ocean Climate Action Plan marks a new perspective on ocean management and an important and necessary step by the Biden Administration. The plan harnesses the power of the ocean to fight climate change and enhance the resilience of marine ecosystems to climate stresses.  

“This week’s IPCC report is a sobering reminder that we must do everything in our power to address the climate and biodiversity crises. For this ocean plan to reflect the climate strategy the planet needs, it must also end new offshore oil and gas drilling off our coasts. In other areas the plan does target for action, like marine carbon removal and storage, a cautious approach is warranted to prevent repeating ocean and community health stewardship mistakes of the past.”  

BACKGROUND: 

The Biden administration is taking several steps to elevate biodiversity, equity and climate resilience in the Bureau of Land Management’s stewardship of public lands, as well as announcing the creation of two new national monuments under the Antiquities Act.  

It is committing to modernizing the tools available to the agency—the nation’s largest land manager—to protect water, wildlife and communities. This will include a $100 million dollar Tribal Conservation Funding Pledge in which it is launching a public-private partnership to increase opportunities for Tribes to steward ancestral lands and resources in keeping with the Administration’s commitments to expanding co-management on public lands.  

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is also issuing new guidance prioritizing ecological connectivity and wildlife movement corridors to ensure fish and wildlife can adapt and thrive in the face of climate change and habitat and biodiversity loss. 

In addition, it is releasing the first-of-its-kind Ocean Climate Action Plan, which spans three broad themes:  

  1.  creating a carbon neutral future; 
  2.  accelerating nature-based solutions; and,
  3.  enhancing community resilience to climate change.   

The plan outlines over 200 specific actions with timelines that cut across the federal government. Areas targeted for action include offshore wind and marine energy; green maritime shipping; CO2sequestration in the sub-seabed; marine carbon dioxide removal; “blue carbon”; marine protected areas; climate ready fisheries; protected resources; aquaculture; and coastal climate resilience.   


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC 

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