From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi: 'U.S. Needs a New Conservation Plan for Our Oceans'

April 20, 2004

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today regarding the release of a preliminary report by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, the first federal review of ocean policy in 35 years:

"At the request of Congress, the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy spent the last three years studying the state of our oceans. The report is not encouraging. Many of the world's ocean ecosystems that are so vital to our nation's economy and quality of life are unhealthy and getting worse. Many fishstocks are in crisis. Pollution, overfishing, and habitat destruction are some of the problems straining our ocean's capacity to sustain healthy ocean wildlife.

"This is the second high-level commission in a year to conclude that the U.S. needs a new conservation plan for our oceans. In a remarkably similar verdict 10 months ago, the Pew Oceans Commission said our oceans are in peril.

"The last time Congress mandated such a high-level review of the state of our nation's oceans, the Stratton Commission of 35 years ago, it led to the creation of National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration and much of our current thinking about oceans. This new report has the same magnitude and demands the same level of response. Congress and the President need to take its recommendations and develop a new, comprehensive national ocean policy with conservation of our oceans as the first priority."




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