National Endowment for the Ocean

Our coastal communities and economies are inextricably linked to the ocean's health and sustainability. Two state Senators have put forth a bill to create the Oceans, Coasts, and Great Lakes Act for the protection, research and management of our world ocean.

The act will create a funding process based on interest from the oil spill liability trust fund, revenue from offshore energy development, and fees paid for civil penalties for violations on the continental shelf. The legislation would establish a grants program whose applicants for funds could include states, regional associations, non-governmental organizations, and research institutions.

This is a welcome step forward for the once and future ocean. But in an age of complicated governmental processes, will this legislation have the strength to survive?