The Obama administration is seeking to become the first to develop a national oceans policy that pulls in all the agencies dealing with oceans. The White House in June 2009 formed an Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force. That panel in December gave Obama a proposal for a "marine spatial planning" framework. The draft is likely to be finalized soon after the 60-day comment period closes in mid-February.
Marine spatial planning is more than a new buzzword. It's a method, like land-use planning or multiple-use planning, for coordinating many ocean and coastal activities by multiple agencies and actors. One good opportunity to learn more about it is a briefing to be held Tuesday, February 16, 2010, 12:30-2:30 pm, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
The panel includes Charles "Bud" Ehler, president, Ocean Visions; Andrew Rosenberg, VP, Conservation International; and Deerin Babb-Brott, assistant secretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. Moderator will be Lori Arguelles, VP at SeaWeb, which is sponsoring the briefing.
- SeaWeb Contact: Ken Goldman,  703-587-3226. Space limited; RSVP no later than Friday, February 12, 2010, at 4 p.m. Lunch will be served to those who RSVP by this date. Further info. 
- The event will be telecast for those unable to attend. Call-in info available to news media from Ken Goldman (above).
- Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force.