Today, as a member of the Ocean Justice Forum, Earthjustice joins 17 other local and national nonprofits from across the United States to unveil the Ocean Justice Platform. The Platform is a groundbreaking, forward-looking, consensus-based policy proposal that envisions what a just ocean future should look like in coastal communities across the country.
“Coastal communities struggle with pollution, industrial fishing, habitat loss and development. We know that Black, Indigenous and people of color along coasts are disproportionately impacted by rising sea levels, intensifying storms and pollution from industry,” said Drew Caputo, Earthjustice Vice President of Litigation for Lands, Wildlife and Oceans. “We are pleased to be part of this new coalition that puts community concerns at the center of ocean policy.”
The platform sets out what is needed to address deep-rooted inequalities and establishes clear principles and policy priorities to guide policymakers’ approach to fair and equitable ocean policy:
- Protecting the ocean and the benefits it provides to all: A healthy ocean provides communities with economic opportunities, recreation, cultural and spiritual practices, and more. Policies to protect and restore healthy oceans through 30×30 and other efforts must include the perspectives of ocean justice communities and provide equitable access to healthy coasts.
- Alleviating the disproportionate burden of pollution on ocean justice communities: Pollution from fossil fuels, agricultural runoff, plastics and more disproportionately affects ocean justice communities. Policymakers must hold polluting industries accountable while reducing and eliminating pollutants.
- Promote an economy that supports the ocean and the communities that depend on it: A just ocean economy must prioritize people over businesses and uplift communities with jobs to support families. It is up to policy makers to include communities in decision-making and ensure that they can support their historic and traditional ways of life.
- Elevate renewable energy from the ocean rightly: The ocean has more to offer than harmful fossil fuels. It’s time to end taxpayer support for offshore oil and gas that has hurt ocean justice communities, eliminate port emissions, and switch to renewable energy from righteous sources.
- Prioritize community social cohesion in disaster response and adaptation investments: For too long, ocean justice communities have not received adequate support from the federal government as they face rising tides and stronger storms. Decision makers must strengthen planning, provide resources to minimize expected impacts, and increase investments in emergency response to help communities recover so they have the resources and support to make their own decisions in the short term. and long term.
Definition of ocean justice
Ocean Justice exists at the intersection of social inclusion, ocean stewardship and justice. It harnesses a power shift that advances the voices, full participation and leadership of historically excluded peoples and Black, Indigenous and Communities of Color (BIPOC) in ocean decision-making, ensures meaningful and equitable engagement of all communities and provides equal access to healthy services. and prosperous shores and oceans for all.
The Ocean Justice Forum
The Ocean Justice Forum (OJF) is an initiative co-led by Azul, the Center for American Progress, Taproot Earth and Urban Ocean Lab. The Ocean Justice Forum has brought together leaders from 18 environmental, community, Indigenous, and national nonprofit justice organizations to develop a consensual federal ocean policy platform that promotes racial, climate, environmental, and economic justice. Learn more about the Ocean Justice Forum.