Yesterday, President Trump issued an Executive Order revoking President Obama’s National Ocean Policy. President Trump’s new Executive Order reverses the previous policy that prioritized the health of America’s oceans, coasts and Great Lakes.
Jacqueline Savitz, Oceana’s chief policy officer for North America, issued the following statement in response to the new Executive Order:
“Healthy oceans support millions of jobs and generate billions of dollars in GDP in the U.S. every year. President Trump’s new National Ocean Policy undercuts important conservation measures needed to support strong coastal economies and the millions of Americans who depend on healthy oceans.
Every decision involving the ocean also affects fish, wildlife and water quality with resulting costs or benefits for coastal communities, fisheries and tourism. We need strong national policies to help restore our fisheries and protect our oceans.
To promote our nation’s energy security, the National Ocean Policy should promote the responsible development of renewable offshore wind and reject dirty and dangerous offshore oil drilling. Offshore wind will provide clean energy forever, while oil and gas are finite resources that run out and threaten our nation’s thriving clean coast economy. Coastal communities rely on a healthy and sustainably managed ocean for their livelihoods and way of life, and cannot afford the devastation that comes with oil spills.
We reject the administration’s false argument that federal management of the oceans prevents their productive and sustainable use. Strong and effective regulations lay out ‘rules of the road’ that safeguard our health, safety and natural resources. These safeguards play an essential role in balancing the interests of private users of the oceans with the broader need for conservation of ocean resources for all Americans. We urge President Trump to change course and to support science-based policies to ensure that healthy and productive oceans will support abundant fisheries, coastal recreation and economic prosperity for generations to come.”