The Blog Aquatic » CEQ News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy Wed, 13 Aug 2014 13:00:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 New White House Environmental Advisor Has a Boatload of Ocean Cred Fri, 07 Feb 2014 18:17:07 +0000 Julia Roberson

Yesterday, Mike Boots was named acting director of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). This is fantastic news if you care about the ocean.

CEQ is the White House’s environmental advisor. It has played a central role in coordinating the federal efforts to restore the Gulf of Mexico and develop the National Ocean Policy. Often, CEQ has the challenge of balancing good, strong initiatives that protect people and the environment with the administration’s focus on jobs, long-term economic growth and all the things that often seem at odds with protecting the environment.  But these things are not mutually exclusive – and if anyone knows that, it’s Mike.

Mike and I worked together for many years at a small organization that focused on fostering constructive dialogue between conservation groups, fishermen and seafood purchasers. As you can imagine, these groups were often at odds with each other, especially given where the sustainable seafood dialogue was at the time. I saw him navigate among the interests of conservation organizations, North Sea fishermen, European foundations, and U.S. corporate behemoths and find the shared interests that tied them all together for the sake of a healthy ocean. (Many of these conversations happened at the Boston and Brussels Seafood Shows. And let’s just say that it’s really hard to get the smell of fried fish out of your suits after three days inside a conference center with thousands of exhibitors frying up their most delicious products.)

Mike has been outgoing CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley’s Chief of Staff since 2011. He knows CEQ inside and out. He worked tirelessly on the National Ocean Policy and efforts to restore the Gulf of Mexico. And he was integral to the roll-out of the Climate Action Plan.

It gives me hope that he’ll be at the helm of CEQ for the foreseeable future, as we have a lot of people that depend on a healthy environment and a healthy ocean for their jobs, their livelihoods and their way of life. There’s a lot of work to do. Nancy Sutley, Mike and the staff at CEQ have helped shape President Obama’s environmental legacy. Now, it’s time to solidify it.

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Ocean Champion to Depart White House as Accomplishments Are in Jeopardy Wed, 04 Dec 2013 00:02:02 +0000 Emily Woglom

Today, President Obama announced that Nancy Sutley, chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), will step down in February. Obama hasn’t named a successor yet, but that person will have sea-size shoes to fill – because Ms. Sutley has been a true champion for the ocean.

Ironically, the announcement of her departure comes as certain members of Congress are working to undermine one of her most important accomplishments: the National Ocean Policy (NOP).

As head of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, Sutley was instrumental in creating the NOP, which ensures smart and sustainable ocean-use planning. The Task Force released its recommendations in 2010; those recommendations were then implemented through an executive order by Obama establishing the NOP. Sutley then set about developing the NOP’s implementation plan, which was released earlier this year.

Ocean Conservancy and our partners have been fighting to safeguard this vital policy. You can lend your voice by clicking here.

In addition to spearheading the NOP, Sutley also worked on important initiatives for Gulf Coast Restoration, clean water, and tackling climate change.

Nancy Sutley leaves a legacy of aquatic accomplishments that will make our ocean cleaner, safer and more productive for generations to come. Ocean Conservancy thanks her for her dedicated service, and we encourage the president to replace her with someone that will continue and expand this good work.

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