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October 26, 2009
Gray's Reef Seascape located 17.5 nautical miles off Sapelo Island, Ga.
High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)
Representatives from NOAA and the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, announced the formation of a partnership to better manage and protect ocean and coastal resources, ensure regional economic sustainability, and respond to disasters such as hurricanes. The announcement was made during the annual meeting of the Coastal States Organization in Charleston, S.C.
The Governors’ South Atlantic Alliance will leverage resources from each state and supporting partners to protect and maintain healthy coastal ecosystems, keep waterfronts working, enhance clean ocean and coastal waters and help make communities more resilient to natural disasters. The four states previously met with the White House Council on Environmental Quality to obtain support from NOAA and other federal agencies including the U.S. Geological Survey and EPA.
Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, welcomed this announcement as a crucial step to discuss issues paramount to the region’s economic vitality and quality of life.
“We have great challenges in making America’s oceans and coasts safe, healthy and productive,” said Lubchenco. “NOAA is uniquely positioned to help the South Atlantic states address region-specific priorities through the Alliance. Our coasts and oceans are vital to the nation’s economic, ecological, and security well-being.”
The Alliance will be a state-led partnership leveraging resources from the public and private sectors, business and industry communities, local governments, federal agencies, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations to address region-wide priorities.NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.