FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 03, 2010
Jennifer Austin, 202-302-9047 (Department of Commerce)
Kendra Barkoff, 202-208-5338 (Department of the Interior)
U.S. Departments of Commerce and the Interior to Cooperate on Climate-Related Activities
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar formalized an agreement between the two departments to coordinate and cooperate on climate related activities involving science, services, mitigation, adaptation, education and communication.
“The impacts of climate change are already being felt in many sectors of our economy, society, and the natural environment,” Locke said. “Understanding the effects of ocean acidification and climate variability is critical to developing proactive responses that keep American businesses and communities competitive and resilient. It is imperative that the federal government works cohesively to better understand and anticipate how a changing climate affects people, places and natural resources.”
“The strengths, missions and responsibilities of our two agencies are clearly differentiated, but we share mutual management and science challenges, including threatened and endangered species, sea level rise, and the impacts on water availability and quality, and the impacts of ocean acidification, among others,” Salazar said. “We also share an interest in sustaining the economic, social and environmental benefits of natural, historic and cultural resources in a changing climate.”
The two secretaries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that provides a framework to build upon existing partnerships that bring together the departments’ best available climate science and services to inform adaptation strategies and response decisions to manage America’s oceans, coasts, Great Lakes and public lands. This joint effort aims to leverage each department’s unique capabilities and stewardship mandates to most efficiently and effectively manage the nation’s waters and lands and safeguard the communities and economies that depend on them.
This agreement will also draw on national and regional programs and partnerships of each department, including The Department of the Interior’s emerging Climate Science Centers and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and the Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s climate science and services, Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments program and Regional Climate Centers. The MOU will also support the ongoing broader interagency coordination efforts through the U.S. Global Change Research Program.