President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday that supports access to marine data and encourages interaction among stakeholders in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes waters of the United States.
It's a reversal of an Obama executive order, after the 2010 deepwater horizon oil spill.
In his order this week, President Donald Trump said he was "rolling back excessive bureaucracy created by the previous administration", a policy devised by his predecessor for protecting USA oceans and the Great Lakes. President Donald Trump is throwing out a policy devised by his predecessor for protecting USA oceans and the Great Lakes, replacing it with a new approach that emphasizes use of the waters to promote economic growth. The directive called on state and federal governments to work together to promote "healthy ocean ecosystems".
The move by the president erases the National Ocean Policy put in place by former President Obama.
But he said federal agencies could participate in regional partnerships formed by states.
It's drawing praise from groups representing offshore energy producers, and drawing fire from environmentalists.
"With the action today eliminating the National Ocean Policy, President Trump is trying to wash his hands of responsibility for the real and urgent threats facing America's coastal communities - namely, the impacts of climate change", said Christy Goldfuss, senior vice president for energy and environment at the Center for American Progress.
The Trump order still speaks to the need for using the best science and coordination among all levels of government to maintain ocean resources, as other administrations have recognized.
Not only is there no mention of the spill in the new policy, but it references the importance of oil drilling as well as commercial fishing, shipping, and other industries.
Jack Belcher, managing director of the pro-industry National Ocean Policy Coalition, said the new approach would remove "a significant cloud of uncertainty" for marine commerce. "Domestic energy production from Federal waters strengthens the Nation's security and reduces reliance on imported energy". Some results from the Obama years, such as detailed mapping of economic activity on the ocean, have served the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management as it prepares new offshore energy leases for oil, gas and wind power development.