Several White House and federal agency officials participating in the new Ocean Policy Task Force will be traveling throughout Alaska and the Arctic from Aug. 17 to 21, to observe ongoing activities in the region and meet with local and indigenous community leaders and industry representatives.
During their travel, the party will provide updates on their activities and observations, including photos, videos and blog posts throughout. You can follow their trip and contribute to the dialogue via the following social media channels:
The increasingly accessible and active Arctic region has significant environmental, scientific, economic and security impacts that have broad implications for all of the agencies participating and the public responsibilities they hold.
This high-level interagency visit, facilitated by the U.S. Coast Guard, will improve whole-of-government collaboration to address the challenges and seize the opportunities present in the Arctic and contribute to the quality of national policy recommendations from the OPTF, as well as overall implementation of the national Arctic Region Policy.
The OPTF, led by the White House Council on Environmental Quality, was established in July and is charged with developing a recommendation for a national policy that ensures protection, maintenance, and restoration of oceans, our coasts and the Great Lakes. It will also recommend a framework for improved stewardship, and effective coastal and marine spatial planning.
The travel itinerary will include Nome, Fairbanks, Barrow and Prudhoe Bay, Alaska areas. The trip will culminate with a public meeting by the OPTF to be held in Anchorage, Alaska Aug. 21.
The official party will include:
•David Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior
•Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Under Secretary for Commerce of Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator
•Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality
•Adm. Thad W. Allen, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard
•Heather Zichal, deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change