One of the effects of constantly shooting your mouth off to "the powers that be" is they immediately start firing crap back in hopes of plugging your hole.
Back in April, when they were scheduling the public rallies on offshore energy, frequent whining weasled me on to the Department of Interior's mail list, meaning now I get frequent press releases, usually pumping up "big steps forward" and "united visions" — the government equivalent of "acting busy" before the boss can yell at you.
This latest one discusses Obama's "Interagency Task Force on Ocean Policy," to better "meet our Nation's stewardship responsibilities for the oceans, coasts and Great Lakes" but — instead of stopping there — it actually asks for "input from interested communities, governments, tribes, businesses, associations, non-governmental organizations and from the general public." We're pretty sure that "tribes" means "surfers" – possibly even spongers and kayakers, too. Don't worry: don't have to join some secret paramilitary operations to defend the Pacific and Atlantic; just give them some public outcry ammo to justify protecting our coasts.
So, read the full release below. And once you stop feeling all flattered and empowered over being asked to construct domestic policy with the POTUS, make sure to hit the link and fire off any and all concerns from water quality to the coastal zoning. And, if writing in complete sentences sounds like too much work, just go to Surf-First.org and fill the survey after your next session. (We're pretty sure that's where Barack got this whole 'ocean task force' idea to begin with.)
In order to better meet our Nation's stewardship responsibilities for the oceans, coasts and Great Lakes, President Obama created an Interagency Task Force on Ocean Policy on June 12, 2009.
The Task Force is led by the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the other members are composed of senior-level officials from the agencies, departments and offices on the existing Committee on Ocean Policy. (See attached). The Task Force has been instructed to provide its recommendations in 90 days for the first three issue areas and 120 days for the last.
The Task Force seeks input on its work from interested communities, governments, tribes, businesses, associations, non-governmental organizations and from the general public. If you would like to provide comments, please click here.
We ask that you focus your comments on the issues set forth in the President's Memorandum:
· National policy for oceans and for coastal and Great Lakes ecosystems;
· Ocean governance framework;
· Implementation Strategy to meet the objectives of the national policy; and
· Coastal and marine spatial planning.
In addition, please feel free to include information about the impact of significant emerging issues on your area of expertise or concern, like climate change or offshore renewable energy development; on jobs and the economics of your business or activity; and any experience you have with current policies and programs—with an emphasis on specific suggestions for improvement where possible.
Please note, that to meet the ambitious timeframe outlined in the President's Memorandum, the Task Force will build upon the work of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission. These reports, appendices and the extensive public engagement and records will serve as important foundations for the work of the Ocean Policy Task Force.