National Ocean Policy Coalition Releases First-of-its-Kind U.S. Marine Conservation Assessment


February 9, 2023
National Ocean Policy Coalition Releases First-of-its-Kind U.S. Marine Conservation Assessment
Report Identifies 4,200+ Conservation Areas Equal to ~500 Percent of U.S. Marine Waters

The National Ocean Policy Coalition (NOPC) today released the first-of-its-kind https://www.google.com/url?q=https://oceanpolicy.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3D6bb66fed099f6eb4e4253667e%26id%3D383c788d10%26e%3Dbbabf4177a&source=gmail&ust=1676084085468000&usg=AOvVaw1aw-lBwmSB1iLcEt_MSAXT">assessment of U.S. federal and state conservation actions throughout the nation’s marine waters. 
Analyzing actions across state, territorial, and federal waters, including the Great Lakes, and utilizing data from authoritative governmental and federal partner resources, the assessment identifies over 4,200 sites spanning nearly 62 million square kilometers that are currently being managed for conservation and/or safety purposes and providing conservation outcomes.  The assessment found that existing U.S. marine conservation actions cover an area equivalent to nearly 500 percent of all U.S. marine waters. 
“More than a number, the findings underscore the broad reach of U.S. conservation actions nationally and across regions,” said NOPC Executive Director Brent Greenfield.  “As policymakers and others consider new marine conservation actions in the United States, including through the ‘America the Beautiful’ initiative, it is imperative that we first understand and recognize the varied actions in place that are already providing conservation outcomes.  We are hopeful that this assessment will serve as a useful resource to help gain that understanding and ensure well-informed decisions that support the Blue Economy while conserving marine resources.”
Region-specific findings reflect the comprehensive nature of marine conservation today, with existing conservation actions identified as follows:
  • https://www.google.com/url?q=https://oceanpolicy.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3D6bb66fed099f6eb4e4253667e%26id%3D12ae84944d%26e%3Dbbabf4177a&source=gmail&ust=1676084085468000&usg=AOvVaw0wOnOEzHo7IkkX3BTl84Py">Atlantic: 1,795 sites covering area equivalent to 1575% of region’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
  • https://www.google.com/url?q=https://oceanpolicy.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3D6bb66fed099f6eb4e4253667e%26id%3D0ab0942549%26e%3Dbbabf4177a&source=gmail&ust=1676084085468000&usg=AOvVaw1Be05Frn3cO-ni20QJG5xy">Gulf of Mexico: 856 sites covering area equivalent to 787% of region’s EEZ
  • https://www.google.com/url?q=https://oceanpolicy.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3D6bb66fed099f6eb4e4253667e%26id%3Dc078a302d0%26e%3Dbbabf4177a&source=gmail&ust=1676084085468000&usg=AOvVaw06K4nBDvnLExTRvupsiEQe">West Coast: 744 sites covering area equivalent to 682% of region’s EEZ
  • https://www.google.com/url?q=https://oceanpolicy.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3D6bb66fed099f6eb4e4253667e%26id%3Dc10c4ecadb%26e%3Dbbabf4177a&source=gmail&ust=1676084085469000&usg=AOvVaw20oKxwTXroJt0WIvW0ukS8">Alaska: 340 sites covering area equivalent to 533% of region’s EEZ
  • https://www.google.com/url?q=https://oceanpolicy.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3D6bb66fed099f6eb4e4253667e%26id%3D89058d99b7%26e%3Dbbabf4177a&source=gmail&ust=1676084085469000&usg=AOvVaw32UBjBmaapSHcmJjWAfR08">Hawaii/Pacific Islands: 255 sites covering area equivalent to 328% of region’s EEZ
  • https://www.google.com/url?q=https://oceanpolicy.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3D6bb66fed099f6eb4e4253667e%26id%3Dc0113bbca2%26e%3Dbbabf4177a&source=gmail&ust=1676084085469000&usg=AOvVaw3xn34D-aDAUUZHVCDbu5YT">Caribbean: 81 sites covering area equivalent to 37% of region’s EEZ
  • https://www.google.com/url?q=https://oceanpolicy.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3D6bb66fed099f6eb4e4253667e%26id%3D7e75b25217%26e%3Dbbabf4177a&source=gmail&ust=1676084085469000&usg=AOvVaw0h5Rc-L65pduS9FBN4Ja6U">Great Lakes: 161 sites covering area equivalent to 52% of Lake Michigan
NOPC’s marine conservation assessment includes analysis of marine protected areas including sanctuaries, monuments, parks, and refuges, critical habitat areas, shipping safety fairways, anchorage areas, energy leasing withdrawals, Department of Defense restricted areas and danger zones, regulated navigation areas and limited access areas, and biodiversity protection/fisheries management measures.
About NOPC
As an organization of diverse interests representing sectors and entities that span the Blue Economy, the National Ocean Policy Coalition supports the development and implementation of sound, balanced ocean policies that recognize and enhance the critical role that our oceans, coastal areas, Great Lakes, and marine and terrestrial ecosystems play in our nation’s economy, national security, culture, health, and well-being while conserving the natural resources and marine habitat of our ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes regions for current and future generations.  The Coalition includes interests ranging from fishing and energy to waterborne transportation and beyond that depend on ocean access to provide the nation with economic, environmental, and societal benefits.
NOPC Contact:
Brent Greenfield
(713) 805-5385

National Ocean Policy Coalition Quick Links

  • https://www.google.com/url?q=https://oceanpolicy.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3D6bb66fed099f6eb4e4253667e%26id%3Dad597b220c%26e%3Dbbabf4177a&source=gmail&ust=1676084085469000&usg=AOvVaw0itEqhnDWAeUV1zu4kGGl-">Statement of Principles
  • https://www.google.com/url?q=https://oceanpolicy.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3D6bb66fed099f6eb4e4253667e%26id%3D5b6c1c8f63%26e%3Dbbabf4177a&source=gmail&ust=1676084085469000&usg=AOvVaw16QfjfSEjOkcKv8uCBkq6j">NOPC Members
  • https://www.google.com/url?q=https://oceanpolicy.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3D6bb66fed099f6eb4e4253667e%26id%3D61e5d45376%26e%3Dbbabf4177a&source=gmail&ust=1676084085469000&usg=AOvVaw0fH27phDLTem5V34grNhk-">Ocean Policy Library
  • https://www.google.com/url?q=https://oceanpolicy.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3D6bb66fed099f6eb4e4253667e%26id%3D2514e01759%26e%3Dbbabf4177a&source=gmail&ust=1676084085469000&usg=AOvVaw34HJR3j9Onrpc1HogIyy03">Ocean Policy in the News

Disaster Relief-Hurricane IAN

Contact: Jack Vitek, IGFA Marketing Director jvitek@igfa.org

IGFA Provides Relief Funding to Southwest Florida Captains & Guides Following Hurricane Ian

DANIA BEACH, FL – December 14, 2022  –
The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) announced today
that it is sending an initial distribution of $50,000 from the IGFA’sWorldwide Anglers Relief Fund (WARF) to
the recreational fishing community in Southwest Florida in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

The IGFA has partnered with the National Association of Charterboat Operators (NACO) and
the Florida Guides Association (FGA) to develop an application process for relief funding
that will be eligible for any licensed recreational captain or guide adversely affected in the
Southwest Florida area. All applications will be vetted by members of NACO and FGA to
ensure the funds are properly distributed.

To apply for relief funding, please visit https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.nacocharters.org/component/rsform/form/14-hurricane-ian-assistance.   


“Although Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida in late September,
there are many captains and guides still struggling to get back on the water in
the aftermath of this devastating storm,” said IGFA President Jason Schratwieser.
“We are excited to provide this funding to help those in need, and we are very thankful
for all the individuals, companies, and groups that contributed to this effort.” 

The IGFA and Costa Sunglasses created the WARF in Sept. 2017 to provide financial aid to
local charter captains, guides, and outfitters in the wake of major natural disasters. Professional,
recreational angling is often the cornerstone of local coastal economies, and the ability for these
small businesses and entrepreneurs to get back on their feet after natural disasters is critical to
re-establishing the cultural and financial well-being of the areas in which they operate.

“At its core, Costa’s mission is to support our angling communities and the waters we love –
and in times like these, we are all #OneCoast. It doesn’t matter what body of water you live on
or near, it’s the water that unites us,” said Costa Conservation & Community
Partnerships Manager, Joe Gugino. “The destruction in Southwest Florida was devastating,
but it has been truly inspiring seeing the angling community come together to help support
our friends in Southwest Florida and get them back on the water again.”

With this latest distribution, the WARF has now distributed a total of $275,000 to recreational
angling associations in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, Belize, Louisiana, The Bahamas,
and Montana to help local captains and guides recover from natural disasters.

“We’re excited to once again be working with the IGFA on this important work,” said
NACO President Capt. Bob Zales, II. “NACO, along with our Sponsoring Association
FGA, are proud to be working with the IGFA and Costa on the WARF
again, where we will be able to make some meaningful and substantial changes in the lives of the
captains and guides impacted by Hurricane Ian.”

All funds raised and donated to the WARF are distributed to those impacted by natural disasters.
To make a direct, tax-deductible contribution to the WARF,
please go to https://www.google.com/url?q=https://
igfa.org/world-anglers-relief-fund-warf igfa.org/world-anglers-relief-fund-warf/, or purchase Costa
#OneCoast apparel in support of recovery efforts at https://www.google.com/url?q=https:onecoast.net.
Your support is greatly appreciated and will directly
benefit anglers, guides, crew members, and outfitters in need.

The IGFA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information about getting
involved with the WARF, please contact
IGFA Marketing Director & Chief of Staff Jack Vitek at jvitek@igfa.org.

About the IGFA
Founded in 1939, the https://www.google.com/url?q=https://IGFA is a nonprofit organization
committed to the conservation of game fish and the promotion of responsible, ethical angling
practices through science, education, rule making, record keeping and recognition of outstanding
accomplishments in the field of angling. The IGFA also maintains world records in
freshwater, saltwater, fly fishing and junior angler categories. The IGFA has members in
more than 100 countries.

About NACO
NACO is the national association of charterboat owners and operators that was formed in 1991.
Representing thousands of individuals all across the United States, our membership
includes marine charters who provide fishing, sailing, diving, eco-tours, and other excursion
vessels who carry passengers for hire.

About FGA
The Florida Guides Association is a statewide organization of Professional
Fishing Guides, Corporate Affiliates, and Associate Affiliates who have been
working together since 1991, toward the goal of “Better fishing through conservation”.
We believe it is essential to lobby to protect the rights of all recreational anglers for
access and responsible use of the natural resources available in Florida’s State waters.