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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Rep. Langevin and CT Senator Chris Murphy applaud progress on regional ocean protection plan

Process has been bi-partisan and open to community involvement 

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representative Jim Langevin (RI-02) were joined by a bicameral, bipartisan group of 28 Members of Congress from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island on Thursday to express support for continued public engagement on the draft Northeast Ocean Plan – a framework to better manage the region’s ocean and coastal ecosystems.

In a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, the members of Congress emphasized that the Atlantic Ocean and its coasts contribute significantly to the Northeast region’s economy and culture, and encouraged the Administration to continue working with local residents and stakeholders as they work to finalize the plan.

“As Members of Congress who represent the Northeastern United States, we write in support of the Administration’s efforts to advance the ocean planning process, including the release of a draft Northeast Regional Ocean Plan. The recently released draft Northeast Ocean Plan is the nation’s first ocean plan for federal waters, and we are proud of the historic and continued leadership role our states and region have played in its development,” the members of Congress wrote.

“We respectfully request that the Administration continue its engagement as the public provides additional input during the draft comment period. Through refining and perfecting the plan and its data portal, federal agencies, states and local stakeholders can better capitalize on the Atlantic as an economic driver and work to protect its environmental treasures for generations to come.”

In addition to Murphy and Langevin, the letter was signed by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Angus King (I-Maine), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), as well as U.S. Representatives John B. Larson (CT-01), Joe Courtney (CT-02), Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-03), James A. Himes (CT-04), Elizabeth H. Esty (CT-05), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Richard E. Neal (MA-01), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Niki Tsongas (MA-03), Joseph P. Kennedy, III (MA-04), Katherine M. Clark (MA-05), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Michael E. Capuano (MA-07), Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), William R. Keating (MA-09), Frank C. Guinta (NH-01), Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), and Bruce Poliquin (ME-02).

Established by Presidential Executive Order in 2010, the National Ocean Policy called for the formation of nine regionally-focused boards to better manage the nation’s oceans and coasts. New England was the first region in the nation to launch a planning board. Residents interested in providing feedback on the Northeast Ocean Plan through the public comment process should visit: