Ocean Currents

Donate Today

Ocean Currents

News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy


About Anne Merwin

Anne Merwin is Ocean Conservancy’s Director of Ocean Planning, based in Washington DC.

New Ocean Plan is History in the Making

Posted On July 18, 2016 by

The summer sizzle has arrived and I have some hot news to share with you: The nation’s first regional ocean plan was just released in New England! This plan is a huge win for the Atlantic Ocean and everything that lives in it.

I couldn’t be more excited about this news!! But, I need your help to make sure the plan turns into real action on the water and not just words on a paper. Will you take action today?

Continue reading »

Mid-Atlantic Releases Nation’s Second Regional Ocean Plan; Aims to Improve Health and Sustainability of the Ocean from Virginia to New York

Posted On July 7, 2016 by

On July 5th, the Mid-Atlantic States become the second region in the nation to release an ocean action plan for their shared federal waters, an historic move that follows a similar release by the New England states in May.

Over the past 3 years, the Mid-Atlantic has been at the forefront of regional ocean planning in the United States.  Along with the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic states chose to develop their ocean plan after President Obama’s National Ocean Policy was announced in 2010. Led by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body which is comprised of six states, two federally recognized tribes, multiple federal agencies and the Fisheries Management Council, the region is now poised to not only better manage its ocean resources, but to plan more comprehensively for its future. The release of this draft plan, in combination with the Northeast Plan, is a major step towards more coordinated, science-based and stakeholder-informed ocean management.  Between the two regions, ocean plans now benefit ocean users and resources from Virginia to Maine.

So what does this plan mean for you as an ocean user?

Continue reading »

The Northeast Ocean Plan Sails towards a New Era for Ocean Management

Posted On May 27, 2016 by

The Northeast Ocean Plan, the nation’s first regional ocean plan was released this week and is now open for public comment through July 25. See Ocean Conservancy’s press release here.

This plan is the culmination of four years of work by state and federal agencies, tribes, the Fishery Management Council, stakeholders and the public.  New England has led the nation on collaborative ocean management since 2005 when it formed the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC), the country’s first regional ocean partnership.  In 2010, the issuance of President Obama’s National Ocean Policy opened the door for New England to create the Northeast Regional Planning Body (whose work NROC supports), and to move forward with regional ocean planning.   The release of the draft plan this week is a major step towards more coordinated, science-based, and stakeholder-informed ocean management.  It results in better data and information on a wide range of ocean uses and resources, improved communication and coordination amongst the twenty plus state and federal agencies with jurisdiction in the ocean, and decision-making processes that better engage stakeholders and ocean users.  All with the goal of advancing ocean health and growing local economies.

Continue reading »

White House Report Details Ocean Policy Progress

Posted On March 31, 2015 by

Last Friday the White House released a report on the accomplishments of the National Ocean Policy (NOP).  The NOP set forth a vision to ensure our oceans and coasts are healthy and resilient, and implements the recommendations of the bipartisan U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy to improve federal coordination and effectiveness in managing our ocean resources.

“The accomplishments of the National Ocean Policy reflect the tremendous momentum we’ve seen from the Administration to address the most pressing issues facing our ocean and coastal communities,” said Ocean Conservancy’s Director of Ocean Planning Anne Merwin.  “Businesses as diverse as shipping and maritime, commercial fishing, recreation, and conservation groups have all expressed their strong support for smart management of our ocean, because of the real, practical, and local benefits they are seeing thanks to this important work.”

Continue reading »

Celebrating Capitol Hill Ocean Week with a Commitment to Finalized Plans and a New National Ocean Council Director

Posted On June 10, 2014 by

Here in Washington, DC we are celebrating Capitol Hill Ocean Week  just on the heels of World Oceans Day.  As part of the celebration, White House Counselor John Podesta made two key announcements in his opening keynote address. First, an exciting official confirmation that smart ocean plans will be finished by 2016 in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic – spanning the ocean from Maine to Virginia. This important work by the Regional Planning Bodies is a landmark that will help coastal communities and businesses thrive.

Continue reading »


Attack on National Ocean Policy Defeated; Lost Opportunity to Create a National Endowment for the Ocean

Posted On May 16, 2014 by

Over the course of the last few months, we’ve been talking about the competing visions of the House and Senate versions of a bill called the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The Senate proposed to establish a National Endowment for the Oceans, which would expand scientific research, provide planning and resource management, restore habitat and much more. Conversely, the House proposed to gut the existing National Ocean Policy that ensures smart use of ocean resources.

Continue reading »