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Joint Ocean Commission Initiative

The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative brings together all sectors of the ocean community to achieve meaningful ocean policy reform, catalyzing action and monitoring progress.

Oceans and coasts are critical American resources: they balance global ecosystems, inspire countless interest groups, and support multiple economic sectors. They’re also governed by numerous federal, state, and local entities; with so many users and managers involved, ocean and coastal policies can often be conflictual and confusing. The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative (JOCI) engages in ocean policy reform to advance coordinated and comprehensive ocean management. As the JOCI Secretariat, Meridian identifies, communicates, and actualizes bipartisan ocean policy solutions that safeguard the ocean environment and bolster the economy.

From 2000 to 2004, the US Commission on Ocean Policy (USCOP) and the Pew Oceans Commission developed recommendations to improve ocean governance. With Meridian’s guidance and leadership, the Commissions’ former members established JOCI to bring those recommendations to fruition in 2005.

Since then, JOCI has realized the Commissions’ visions by pursuing three bodies of work. First, Meridian convenes the ocean community to update and refine JOCI’s policy priorities. For example, the 2017 Ocean Action Agenda, which was informed by regional roundtables, details JOCI’s recommendations for maintaining the ecological balance and economic productivity of our oceans and coasts. Second, we provide backbone support for JOCI’s bipartisan group of senior ocean policy leaders as they guide the realization of policy recommendations. Third, we take targeted actions to implement their guidance: we educate and mobilize leaders in Congress and the Administration, raise public awareness of ocean policy issues, and coordinate with the ocean community to generate collective impact. This multifaceted approach creates meaningful ocean policy reform and action that is owned by diverse stakeholders, refined with the wisdom of experienced leaders, and enacted collaboratively to ensure long-term results.

Project Team

Learn more about the team that leads the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative project.