Published: July 2006
Did You Know?
In Did You Know? the National Geographic magazine team shares extra information we gathered to expand your knowledge of our featured subjects.

Following the reports of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission, the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative formed in late 2004 "to accelerate the pace of change that results in meaningful ocean policy reform." The common findings of the reports were grim: Our oceans are in trouble, and if something isn't done to save them, they may suffer substantial and perhaps irreversible damage. Guided by members of the two commissions and headed by their chairs, Adm. James Watkins and the Honorable Leon Panetta, the joint commission issued a report card in 2005 assessing the nation's efforts to implement the recommendations made in the commission reports. While the report card gave an A- to the initial response to the commission reports, ocean policy reform received a D+. New funding received an F. To see the full report card and go to Joint Ocean Commission Initiative

—Mary Jennings