For well over two centuries, the Coast Guard has worked to safeguard our Nation and its citizens, to secure our maritime borders, and to serve as a responsible steward of our oceans, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. – Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard
The Coast Guard has a centuries-old tradition as America’s primary federal maritime law enforcement agency. Over the years, the missions have changed, but the Coast Guard’s roles have remained the same: maritime safety, security and stewardship. Tomorrow, Admiral Allen will discuss the merits of a National Ocean Policy and improved governance framework as he testifies before Congress as a member of the Obama Administration’s Ocean Policy Task Force. This initiative represents a significant opportunity to employ a “whole government” approach to manage the use and protection of our marine resources and maritime waterways with an emphasis on sustainability and predictability.
Guardians are no strangers to big picture approaches to the governance of our nation’s waterways. For nearly two decades, Guardians have participated in scenario-based strategy development exercises aimed at forecasting the threats and opportunities to the Coast Guard’s missions through the Evergreen Process and as recently as 2007 issued a Coast Guard Strategy for Maritime Safety, Security and Stewardship which called for a national policy to “address concerns ranging from increased use of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to new uses in the Arctic.” More recently, Coast Guard cutters have assisted researchers at NOAA by deploying global drifter buoys to help us better understand our oceans while the polar icebreaker Healy has been involved in multiple initiatives to map and better understand the changing Arctic landscape.
Log on to Coast Guard Compass tomorrow morning for more on Admiral Allen’s appearance on Capitol Hill and check out the Commandant’s Twitter page to follow his testimony live.
For more information on the Coast Guard’s role in the Ocean Policy Task Force, please visit Admiral Allen’s blog posts on the establishment of the Task Force, the Task Force’s Arctic Awareness trip, marine spatial planning, and the Ocean Policy Task Force’s Interim Report.