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Meridian Institute

Joint Ocean Commission Initiative

External Project Site: www.jointoceancommission.org
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Related: Environment and Natural Resources

Meridian Institute serves as secretariat for the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, a bipartisan, collaborative group of senior ocean leaders. The Joint Initiative is chaired by Norman Mineta, former Secretary of Commerce and Transportation, and Christine Todd Whitman, former Governor of New Jersey.


The Joint Initiative recently released an interactive digital report, the Ocean Action Agenda, which recommends dozens of actions that the Trump Administration and Congress should take to effectively manage America’s ocean and coastal resources. The report also includes more than 30 stories from across the United States that highlight the importance of the oceans and Great Lakes to the lives of all Americans. This digital report is based on input from Joint Initiative-led roundtable meetings of hundreds of industry, military, nonprofit, and tribal leaders, as well as local, state, and federal government officials representing America’s coasts. Leaders at these meetings, which were held in the U.S. Arctic and the East, West, and Gulf Coasts, emphasized the dramatic changes occurring along their coasts and the need for robust and coordinated federal involvement to support regional priorities. The Joint Initiative is currently using the Ocean Action Agenda to communicate these ocean priorities, informed by local and regional voices, to Administration officials, members of Congress, committee staff, and other decision makers.

Since its formation, the Joint Initiative has created and sustained a broad-based, bipartisan effort to catalyze ocean policy reforms and action at the local, regional, state, and national levels. Among groups working on ocean and coastal policy issues, the Joint Initiative is unique in its ability to provide high level, credible, bipartisan leadership and engagement. The Joint Initiative was formed in 2005 when members of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission came together around their overlapping and complementary recommendations. The Joint Initiative was originally co-chaired by Admiral James D. Watkins (U.S. Navy, Ret.) and Leon E. Panetta, the chairs of the two commissions, and its Leadership Council includes many former commission members. A full list of Leadership Council members can be found here. To learn more, visit jointoceancommission.org.​