UPDATE: Secretary Kerry and President Obama Show Deep Commitment to Blue Legacy

The following is an updated statement from Emily Woglom, Vice President for Conservation and Policy at Ocean Conservancy, on announcements by the Obama Administration to protect our ocean, at Secretary Kerry’s OurOcean 2014 conference.

President Obama announced via video message on June 17th a task force to address illegal fishing, and his intention to use executive powers to protect special places in the ocean. Senior Counselor to the President John Podesta announced at 1:45pmEST on June 17th the Administration’s intention to expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, from 87,000 to potentially 782,000 square miles.

(WASHINGTON, DC) “Today’s announcement by the Obama Administration to take steps towards the expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument represents a deep understanding of why a healthy ocean is so important to the United States and the world over. Protecting special marine places is a great opportunity to ensure a productive, healthy ocean for future generations. It is clear the Administration is putting a marker down to establish its Blue Legacy.

The task force to address illegal fishing can help fish and fishermen - and the millions of people who depend on healthy, sustainable fisheries. It’s a natural next step for an Administration that has helped end overfishing in the United States.

We applaud the Obama Administration, Secretary Kerry and the Department of State for elevating the problems facing the ocean, on which we depend for food and jobs. Ocean Conservancy looks forward to working with the Administration to ensure action on ocean acidification, smart ocean planning, marine debris and sustainable fisheries, so that the announcements today benefit people and communities of tomorrow.”

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To speak to Ocean Conservancy staff attending the OurOcean2014 conference, please contact Julia Roberson (cell: 202.316.7044 or jroberson@oceanconservancy.org).

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