The White House-created Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force has begun work on its new ocean policy recommendation to President Obama that would unify the 20 federal agencies and over 140 distinct laws that address aspects of ocean policy. After a series of listening tours around the country that began last week, the task force is slated to develop recommendations that will focus on protecting the oceans and the Great Lakes, as well as sustaining economic activity that depends on them. The group will then have three months to lay the groundwork for a new marine planning system, which could create a new system of ocean zoning to allocate resources across varying uses from recreation to shipping to renewable energy. NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco told Greenwire (carried via the New York Times [free registration required]) that the task force is unlikely to have the specifics of a marine spatial plan worked out by the end of this year, but she expects that the group will have a more detailed road map developed by that time.