New U.S. Oceans Policy Announced

WASHINGTON, July 22 (UPI) — U.S. President Obama has established a new national policy for a coordinated system for managing America’s oceans, coasts and Great Lakes, officials said.

In an executive order issued Monday, the president created the National Ocean Council to implement the new policies, Environment News Service reported.

“With a growing number of recreational, scientific, energy, and security activities,” Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said, “we need a national policy that sets the United States on a new path for the conservation and sustainable use of these critical natural resources.”

Marine management under this policy will be “ecosystem-based,” and regulation of specific activities such as oil and gas development will be based on impacts on the broader ecosystems, ENS reported.

“The new national policy provides a clear road map for all federal agencies to work together, with local partners, to protect our vital waters for future generations,” Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said.

Environmental groups applauded the new policy.

“As we witness the gut-wrenching devastation in the Gulf of Mexico, this announcement is welcome news for the future health of our oceans,” Bill Eichbaum, World Wildlife Fund vice president for marine policy, said.

“We commend President Obama for his leadership,” he said.

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