Major Ocean Protection Legislation Introduced

WASHINGTON (January 4, 2007) – Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), along with Reps. Tom Allen (D-Maine), Jim Saxton (R-N.J.), and Wayne Gilchrest (R-Md.), introduced a bill today to vastly improve the nation’s approach to managing its ocean resources, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said.

HR-21, the “Oceans Conservation, Education, and National Strategy for the 21st Century Act (OCEANS-21),” establishes a national policy to protect, maintain and restore the health of the oceans. OCEANS-21 requires federal agency action that supports healthy oceans and encourages the development and implementation of regional ocean plans. The legislation would implement key recommendations of the Pew Oceans Commission and the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. 

“Recent scientific studies have documented the precipitous decline of our oceans as a result of overfishing, pollution and habitat destruction," said Sarah Chasis, director of NRDC’s Oceans Initiative. “This legislation will protect and restore the health of our oceans, which we depend on for food, jobs, recreation, and a way of life. Representatives Farr, Allen, Saxton and Gilchrest have demonstrated the importance of ocean health by introducing this key bill in the first hours of the new Congress and we look forward to working with them to turn this bill into law.”