WHEREAS, with its commercial and recreational fisheries, mineral development, ports, pipelines, and potential for wind energy and aquaculture, Louisiana has the most heavily utilized and impacted coastal region in the country, and
WHEREAS, the amount of ocean activity will only increase offshore Louisiana as world needs for energy, food and international trade increases, and
WHEREAS, Louisiana’s commercial fishery annually ranks second in the U.S. in number of pounds landed and in value of catch landed, trailing only Alaska, and Louisiana’s coastal and offshore recreational fishery ranks among the best in the world, and
WHEREAS, the congressionally-created US Ocean Policy Commission set forth the need for a coordinated US ocean policy nationally, regionally, and at the state level in its final report: An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century (Ocean Blueprint), and
WHEREAS, the Ocean Blueprint stated that the nation’s coastal zones and oceans are suffering from polluted runoff, extensive coastal development, habitat loss, and overlapping regulatory jurisdictions, and
WHEREAS, the United States Government recognizes a 12 mile Territorial and a 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone off its coasts as a generally accepted rule of International Law giving it control over resource exploitation, and
WHEREAS, although Louisiana currently has jurisdiction over state coastal waters out to 3 miles, it is likely that additional jurisdiction out to 12 miles will be ceded to the states by the federal government in the future, and
WHEREAS, the probability of an expanded territorial sea has motivated 13 US ocean states to develop or be in the process of developing state comprehensive ocean policy documents, among them Florida, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Alaska and California, often through ocean resource management improvement funding pursuant to Section 1456 (b) of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act, and
WHEREAS, Louisiana should follow the lead of its sister states in embarking on the development of a comprehensive, coordinated Louisiana Ocean Policy for the next 2 decades.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) urges the Governor and Legislature to establish a committee or other appropriate task group to research and draft a comprehensive state ocean policy.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that LWF urges that such Louisiana Ocean Policy work group be comprised of stakeholders including representatives of pertinent government and non-government organizations, industries, businesses and members of the academic community with ocean law and policy expertise and that Louisiana ocean resource management enhancement funds be obtained under Section 1456 (b) of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act and other appropriate funding sources to support this work.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in Convention Assembled, March 16, 2008 in New Iberia, Louisiana.