WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, introduced the Regional Ocean Partnerships Act. The bill would designate Regional Ocean Partnerships (ROPs) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. ROPs are voluntarily convened by state governors in collaboration with local and federal government partners and stakeholders to address ocean and coastal issues of common concern for the region.
“Mississippi and its neighboring states share the same concerns regarding the Gulf of Mexico, such as the impact of harmful algal blooms and lack of data for oyster farmers,” said Wicker. “It is important for states to collaborate when addressing ocean and coastal issues. This bill supports regional partnerships to build a stronger base of information and leverage funding to strengthen our Blue Economy and protect natural resources.”
The Regional Ocean Partnerships Act would:
- Give authority to the Governor or Governors of coastal state(s) to apply to the Secretary of Commerce for designation as a Regional Ocean Partnership;
- Designate the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, the Northeast Regional Ocean Council, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council, and the West Coast Ocean Alliance as Regional Ocean Partnerships; and
- Define the functions of Regional Ocean Partnerships.
Click here to read the bill.