Clean Ocean Action


President Obama Establishes Ocean Policy Task Force
To develop recommendations for a national ocean policy, President Obama established an Ocean Policy Task Force in June 2009.  The oceans and coasts are under stress from multiple sources of pollution, climate change, and competing uses. "The Task Force has a wealth of opportunity to make our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes healthier – both environmentally and economically," stated Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and chairwoman of the Task Force.


More than 140 laws and 20 agencies currently govern ocean and coastal waters and resources, which result in conflicts, confusion, and inaction. A unifying national policy based on sound science and stewardship is needed. COA supports Obama's directive for a policy “to ensure the protection, maintenance, and restoration of oceans, our coasts, and the Great Lakes.”


Clean Ocean Action has submitted comments to Ocean Policy Task Force.


The Task Force released an Interim Report on Sept. 10, 2009 that includes proposals for a national ocean policy, a framework for ocean policy coordination, and an implementation strategy.
To view COA’s comments on the Interim Report (Oct. 16, 2009), click here.


The Task Force is also developing a framework for Marine Spatial Planning which is a strategic process for determining what activities will be allowed in specific areas of the oceans and managing and protecting marine ecosystems.
To view COA’s comments on Marine Spatial Planning and Emerging Issues (Sept. 30, 2009), click here.


To view COA’s comments on the National Ocean Policy (Aug. 14, 2009), click here.


For more information on the administration initiatives, click on the following link:


COA Statement - Release of Acting Governor's "Coast Initiative 2005"

“Governor Supports ‘Clean Ocean Zone’ Initiative Among Other Vital Coastal Protections”


On April 20, 2005, Acting Governor Richard Codey announced his “Coast Initiative 2005.”  Clean Ocean Action (COA) applauds the Governor’s plan to “strengthen protection of our valuable coastal resources.”


“Acting Governor Codey has outlined an important, broad, and timely list of initiatives and actions that will improve and protect the marine environment,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action. “We are delighted that Governor Codey has focused on the plight of the ocean and come to its aid. In particular, we are encouraged that the Governor supports the ‘Clean Ocean Zone’ initiative. Now let’s get to work - we are ready, willing, and able,” Zipf added.


COA highlights the following initiatives:

  • DEP will strengthen standards for ocean dischargers to avoid impacts to water quality. DEP will require implementation of measures that will prevent catastrophic sewage spills through maintenance and upgrading of aging infrastructure.
  • Following public input and adequate data collection, DEP will begin restoration of Wreck Pond (the major source of beach closings) no later than September 2005.
  • New Jersey will work with anglers, environmentalists, and the New Jersey congressional delegation to establish a “Clean Ocean Zone” to protect water quality in the New York/New Jersey Bight by eliminating and preventing pollution. 
  • Governor Codey’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Offshore Wind Development will ensure a public process when finalizing recommendations to the Governor on whether offshore wind energy is appropriate for New Jersey.
  • New Jersey will strengthen coastal zone restrictions regarding offshore oil and gas development and will petition the federal government to accept these new restrictions under federal law.
  • DEP will acquire, clean, and sink three additional ships in 2005 to enhance New Jersey’s premier system of artificial reefs.
  • DEP and the Office of Maritime Resources within the N.J. Department of Transportation will assist communities in developing regional dredged material management plans.
  • DEP will update the state’s Dredging Manual to incorporate lessons learned since development of the manual in 1997 to ensure that navigational dredging needs continue to be met using environmentally sound methods and to improve sediment quality data.
  • DEP will act to restore water quality impairments affecting shellfishing areas.

COA also appreciates the opportunity to work with the NJ Department and the State on identifying and developing initiatives important to the ocean.

The History of NJDEP Coastal & Ocean Initiatives

The concept of developing Coastal and Ocean Initiatives are based on the fact that our coastal and ocean resources are in trouble - pollution caused by dischargers, run-off, atmospheric deposition, and legacy pollutants lurking in sediments wreak havoc on our natural resources. In addition, threats to our ocean continue from oil and gas drilling and industrial strip mining for sand and gravel in vast areas of our underwater lands.


The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) Commissioner, Bradley Campbell, announced a coastal and ocean initiative in April 2004 addressing a wide range of marine issues including pollution, water quality, habitat, development impacts, and environmental monitoring.


Two meetings were held by Campbell, co-hosted by federal officials US Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ) and Representatives Frank LoBiondo (R-2) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-6), on April 19th and April 26th in 2004.  Citizens participated at both of the meetings, one at Monmouth University and one at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, voicing their concerns for the coast and ocean.

Two National Reports on Oceans

These New Jersey meetings preceded the release of the US Ocean Commission on Ocean Policy Report, which addresses the state of our oceans and coastal resources from a national perspective.  The report was similar in scope to the Pew Oceans Commission Report released in 2003. Unlike the Pew Oceans Commission Report, state governors were invited to review and comment on the US Ocean Commission Report.

COA's Ocean Pollution Action List

Clean Ocean Action (COA) develop an agenda for making the ocean healthier and happier off the coast of New Jersey.  The "Ocean Pollution Action List" is a list of actions that need to be taken to improve and protect our ocean and coastal resources.


In addition, the Clean Ocean Zone (COZ), a project of Clean Ocean Action, tackles ocean pollution threats.



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