Landmark Decision Biden Unveils First-Ever Strategy for Ocean Justice
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Landmark Decision: Biden Unveils First-Ever Strategy for Ocean Justice

The White House is set to unveil its inaugural Ocean Justice Strategy this Friday at COP28 in Dubai, aiming to further the country’s dedication to environmental justice for all.

According to the Biden Administration, indigenous communities have been custodians of marine habitats for centuries. However, these communities are now identified as particularly vulnerable to health and environmental risks arising from these habitats.

Described as a “vision for ocean justice,” the strategy was crafted with input from public comments and through consultations with Tribal nations, as well as roundtable discussions with U.S. Territories and Native Hawaiian organizations.

This new approach encompasses a range of marginalized groups, including Black, Latino, and Native communities.

“The ocean is a life source for us all, but because of historic injustices and underinvestment, some communities are hit harder by devastating climate change impacts,” said Brenda Mallory, the chair of the White House Council for Environmental Quality. “The Biden-Harris Administration’s new Ocean Justice Strategy will help to address historic inequities, improve the well-being of people in communities connected to the ocean, and safeguard a healthy ocean for everyone.”

Landmark Decision: Biden Unveils First-Ever Strategy for Ocean Justice
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The Ocean Justice Strategy, introduced as part of the Biden Administration’s Ocean Climate Action Plan in March 2023, outlines a comprehensive vision, goals, and overarching objectives to coordinate and steer ocean justice initiatives within the Federal government.

As detailed in the Federal Register, this strategy expands upon existing administration efforts and commitments dedicated to advancing environmental justice.

Additionally, it functions as a guide for Tribal, Territorial, State, and local governments, as well as regional management bodies and non-governmental organizations. Serving as a broad framework, the strategy reflects the administration’s key priorities, with plans to provide more detailed specifics in the coming months.

The Ocean Justice Strategy, introduced as part of the Biden Administration’s Ocean Climate Action Plan in March 2023, outlines a comprehensive vision, goals, and overarching objectives to coordinate and steer ocean justice initiatives within the Federal government.

As detailed in the Federal Register, this strategy expands upon existing administration efforts and commitments dedicated to advancing environmental justice.

Additionally, it functions as a guide for Tribal, Territorial, State, and local governments, as well as regional management bodies and non-governmental organizations. Serving as a broad framework, the strategy reflects the administration’s key priorities, with plans to provide more detailed specifics in the coming months.

“Our values are clearly outlined in this strategy.”

According to the recently launched campaign, “ocean communities with a significant proportion of people who are Black, Latino, Indigenous and Native American, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander may be disproportionately affected by ocean-related health and environmental harms and hazards, as may be communities with a significant proportion of people who experience persistent poverty or other forms of social inequality.”

“President Biden has made it a priority to address the climate crisis for all Americans,” The Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Arati Prabhakar stated. “This strategy clearly sets out our values as the climate changes. When we conduct research, collect data and make decisions about the ocean, we must engage with communities whose lives are intertwined with the ocean and the Great Lakes.”

An Ocean Justice Policy Will Safeguard the Ocean for Everybody

Marce Gutierrez-Graudins, the founder and executive director of Azul, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing the intersection of ocean conservation and environmental justice for Latinos, emphasized that incorporating Indigenous peoples and communities of color is crucial for enhancing the success and effectiveness of ocean conservation efforts.

“For too long the ocean conservation movement has been pretty exclusionary,” Gutierrez-Graudins stated.

“It is important that we have policies that include and serve everybody because conservation measures do not work unless they have majority buy in,” she said. “I’m excited to see that the federal government is walking along on this.”

In 2011, she established Azul after being the sole Spanish speaker in a group of 60 individuals tasked with developing marine protected areas in Southern California. This group lacked resources and outreach specifically tailored for the Latino community.

“We have had disproportionate burdens placed on Indigenous communities and communities of color, due to ocean pollution, lack of access and industrial development,” Gutierrez-Graudins said. “Having an ocean justice policy will protect the ocean for all.”

Source: usatoday.com

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With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.