Barack Obama during his run for president gave us an outline of what he wants to do to our marine and coastal environment and the businesses that operate in that industry. While I haven’t a complete list, I want to relay what I’ve been able to find. After last year’s potential problems with the ‘Clean Water Boating Act’, I feel a need to watch what those in the government are doing.
- Encourage international cooperation by pushing forward on the ratification of the “Law of the Sea Convention“. This defines the rights and responsibilities of each nation in their use of the oceans and sets up rules for businesses.
- Create a partnership with the countries that touch the Gulf of Mexico.
- Reauthorize and enlarge the Coastal Zone Management Act and the National Marine Sanctuaries Act and the Oceans and Human Health Act.
- Reduce sediment and nutrient pollution coming from waste-water treatment plant upgrades, agriculture and land use change and development.
- Increase funding to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to enlarge their over seeing of air and water pollution.
- Double the federal funding of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
- Create a $50 Billion Clean Technologies Venture Capital Fund to commercialize cellulosic technologies to make a ‘greener’ ethanol.
- Take actions to force international fishing organizations and nations to address the problem of illegal, unregulated fishing on troubled fish stocks like the Atlantic bluefin tuna so the restrictions are on everyone not just the US fishermen.
- Charter a fishery needs assessment with Congress to identify resource management needs that can be targeted for funding.
There are more issues on the agenda for soon to be president Obama regarding the marine and coastal areas of the world. With an expense of over $65 Billion to start the ball rolling, it will be interesting to see where things will head. As I said before, after what could have been a ‘big brother’ of epic proportions (The Clean Water Boating Act) all of us recreational boaters need to be paying attention to what the government is doing.