American Samoa Ocean Plan
President Obama tasked the federal agencies to coordinate ocean planning efforts through creation of regional planning bodies (RPBs) formed under the National Ocean Policy, and invited non-federal agencies and jurisdictions to participate. Governor Moliga answered the call by appointing two of his cabinet members to serve on the Pacific Islands RPB to represent the needs of the people of American Samoa.
Because of Governor Moliga’s support, American Samoa is now leading the way in the US Pacific Islands by developing the first jurisdictional ocean plan. The ocean plan, developed by American Samoa’s agencies and relevant federal agencies, with input from the Territory’s people, will:
- promote multiple use,
- streamline permitting,
- improve coastal and ocean health,
- improve cross-agency communication,
- improve governmental decision-making,
- encourage adaptation to sea level rise,
- improve stakeholder engagement in permitting process and other ocean activities, and
- provide a tool to aid visualizing uses, potential uses, and the environment.
American Samoa Ocean Planning Team
A multi-stakeholder PARTNERSHIP! The Port Administration and Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources of American Samoa have assembled a planning team (below) to develop the ocean plan (coastal and marine spatial plan) for the Territory. This plan will also serve as a chapter in the overarching Pacific Islands Coastal and Marine Spatial Plan.
The American Samoa Ocean Planning Team (ASOPT) was established in January 2016. Within three months, the ASOPT drafted a process to develop the ocean plan and received input from the community about their vision for American Samoa’s oceans and coasts. The ASOPT incorporated that input and drafted a Vision Statement for the plan.
Vision for the American Samoa Ocean Plan
The people of American Samoa, with their healthy ocean, coasts and communities, enjoy a thriving and secure environment, economy, and Fa’a Samoa.
On March 30, 2016, the PIRPB and ASOPT hosted a listening session with community members and stakeholders. Over 30 people attended and answered individually and in a group four questions. The summary is below.
Question 1: Why are the ocean waters around American Samoa important to you? Why do you care about them?
Question 2: What do you believe are the most important issues currently facing the ocean waters around American Samoa?
Question 3: In 10-15 years, what would we see happening in American Samoa as a result of the coastal and ocean waters being effectively managed and multiple ocean uses balanced?
Question 4: Does the proposed vision statement adequately capture the key concepts that you have shared and discussed tonight for American Samoa’s ocean waters? What changes do you suggest?
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Get involved! Email us with input, feedback, or questions:
ASoceanplan at PacificIslandsRPB.org
Coordinator at PacificIslandsRPB.org
The ASOPT consists of members representing:
American Samoa Port Administration
American Samoa Dept. of Marine and Wildlife Resources (DMWR)
American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (AS EPA)
American Samoa Dept. of Commerce Coastal Management Program (CMP)
American Samoa Dept. of Commerce Planning Department (Planning)
Office of Samoan Affairs (invited)
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (WPFMC)
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
US Fish and Wildlife Service (US FWS)
National Park Service
US Coast Guard (USCG)
US Department of Defense (DOD)