CNRA & OPC Inform Federal Ocean Justice Strategy
On June 8, 2023, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a request for information seeking voluntary input from all interested parties to inform the development of an Ocean Justice Strategy. The effort is led by the Ocean Policy Committee, a Congressionally mandated, cabinet-level interagency committee charged with coordinating federal ocean policy.
The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA), in coordination with the Office of Tribal Affairs, California Ocean Protection Council, California Coastal Commission, California Fish and Wildlife Department, and California State Lands Commission, provided comment to highlight existing California policies and resources relevant to a federal Ocean Justice Strategy.
Comment closes at by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time / 8:59 p.m. Pacific Time July 24, 2023.
CNRA is committed to ensuring that all Californians, particularly those who have been historically burdened and harmed by environmental injustice, have a voice in the management of our state’s natural resources. We commend CEQ and OSTP for undertaking the development of a federal Ocean Justice Strategy, and support a Strategy that addresses barriers to ocean justice, encourages co-management with Native American tribes, enhances coastal access for all communities, identifies important knowledge gaps related to equity and environmental justice, ensures that equity is embedded at the forefront in efforts to enhance the climate resilience of coastal ecosystems and communities, and provides recommendations for ensuring that federal agency workforces are reflective of our nation’s diversity and proactively responsive to the needs of all communities.
Key recommendations to address barriers and provide opportunities to advance ocean justice include:
- Support early and meaningful engagement of tribal and environmental justice communities in federal actions related to ocean and coastal management.
- Advance tribal co-management.
- Enhance coastal access for all communities.
- Identify and reduce pollution and climate stressors to increase coastal community adaptation and climate resilience, including opportunities to promote training, capacity-building, and workforce development.
- Identify and address regional data and research gaps and priorities for environmental justice and tribal communities.
- Increase internal agency capacity and workforce development.