The ocean is an integral part of our lives, our economy, and our communities.

Freighters, fishing boats, and other commercial ships travel its surface, while its depths hold pipelines, utility cables, and more. And, of course, it’s a thriving habitat for thousands of sea creatures that depend on its health to survive.

But today, our need for the ocean’s resources is growing. As harmful practices such as oil and gas drilling and gravel mining threaten to expand into New England’s ocean, marine habitats and the fisheries and wildlife they support are at risk.

At the same time, the development of clean, renewable energy – offshore wind, wave, and tidal – is on the horizon. And the impacts of climate change are only beginning to be seen and understood.

Amid these increasing pressures, in 2010, the Obama Administration established the National Ocean Policy. This groundbreaking policy requires federal and state agencies, as well as key stakeholders such as tribes and ocean user groups, to work together to proactively guide decisions about how our oceans and our coasts are used – so that this precious resource is still thriving and providing for generations to come.

To ensure long-term sustainability in the face of continuing demand, CLF is committed to forging strong, ecosystem-based ocean policy at the state and federal levels. As an active participant in the development of the first state ocean management plans in the country – in Massachusetts and Rhode Island – CLF is now working with a diverse group of stakeholders to develop the first regional ocean plan. We’re pushing for the protection of fragile ecological areas such as Cashes Ledge, supporting science-based decision making and intensive stakeholder engagement, and ensuring sustainable development of clean energy.