President Obama Names Dr. Jane Lubchenco as First U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean

Statement from EDF President Fred Krupp

December 5, 2014
Laura Catalano, (202) 572-3356,

(WASHINGTON – Dec. 5, 2014) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today hailed President Obama’s decision to name Dr. Jane Lubchenco as the Department of State’s first U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean. The move signals the growing priority of oceans in the administration and the kind of collaborative approach it takes to restore resilient jobs, communities and biodiversity worldwide.

“Dr. Lubchenco brings the type of leadership critical to halt and reverse overfishing, and to replenish the vast and vital ocean that lets our planet’s coastal communities grow and thrive. As a distinguished scholar, pragmatic policy-maker, and renowned leader of the nation’s foremost scientific institutions, she has advanced our understanding of how best to conserve the landscapes, atmosphere, and especially salt waters on which humanity depends.

Dr. Lubchenco brought about a literal ‘sea change’ in how over the long-term we can safely and sustainably harvest more nourishing food from our oceans. Thanks in part to her leadership, the U.S. has boosted fish populations over the last three years, while increasing fishing industry jobs 23% and fishermen revenues by 30%.

As the first female NOAA Administrator from 2009-2013, Lubencho led this transformation in our nation’s fishery system by embracing fishermen incentives as a way to turn conflict into cooperation, and reverse fragile collapse into a resilient ecological recovery. She spearheaded this change despite shrunken budgets, a crippling recession, a polarized Congress, a changing climate, and as tensions between fishermen and regulators reached an all-time high.

That’s why Dr. Lubchenco’s appointment puts the right person with the right ideas in the right place at the right time. The Environmental Defense Fund is grateful to enjoy her counsel on our board of directors, and we are proud to see her elevated to a position where she can support others around the world in building the best scientific understanding and practical solutions that can result in more fish in the water, more food on the plate, and more prosperous communities.”

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