President Donald Trump quietly signed an executive order rescinding Obama-era protections of U.S. oceans, coastlines, and Great Lakes waters on Tuesday, just weeks after proclaiming June “National Ocean Month.”
— Brad Johnson (@climatebrad) June 20, 2018
Trump’s decision puts corporate profits ahead of the need for environmental conservation at a time when climate change and oceanic dead zones are becoming a greater threat to civilization and wildlife.
The president’s executive order focuses on energy production, fishing, and national security, which the EO states are “foundational to the economy, security, global competitiveness, and well-being of the United States. ”
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. More: https://t.co/Nbg7yqz5K2 pic.twitter.com/k5ebPRtTIY
— Oceana (@oceana) June 20, 2018
“Ocean industries employ millions of Americans and support a strong national economy,” it says. “Domestic energy production from Federal waters strengthens the Nation’s security and reduces reliance on imported energy.”
Goods and materials that support our economy and quality of life flow through maritime commerce. Our fisheries resources help feed the Nation and present tremendous export opportunities. Clean, healthy waters support fishing, boating, and other recreational opportunities for all Americans.
While I closely watch Trump's EOs on energy/climate/enviro issues, I am no oceans expert. @sciencemagazine wrote this worthwhile post on tonight's order: "Marine conservation and addressing climate change are out. Jobs and national security are in."https://t.co/VyI4uX2oXp
— Benjamin J. Hulac (@benhulac) June 20, 2018
Trump’s executive order is a reversal of one signed by President Barack Obama in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in 2010. It aimed at protecting the world’s marine life and oceanic chemistry, which climate change is actively disrupting.
America’s stewardship of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes is intrinsically linked to environmental sustainability, human health and well-being, national prosperity, adaptation to climate and other environmental changes, social justice, international diplomacy, and national and homeland security.
Trump’s order “downplays an Obama administration emphasis on creating robust data collections that could help managers make decisions, and on encouraging state and federal agencies to collaborate on plans that would guide marine development, conservation, and other activities,” writes Science.
Nowhere in Trump’s executive order do the words “conservation,” “stewardship” or “climate change” appear, nor does the president reference ongoing, man-made threats to the oceans which include acidification, dead zones, or the bleaching of coral reefs, such as Great Barrier off the coast of Australia.
Environmental groups were quick to call out Trump on what they say is an irresponsible move that leaves Earth’s oceans susceptible to additional man-made damage.
Trump’s executive order “undercuts important conservation measures needed to support strong coastal economies.” said Jacqueline Savitz, chief policy officer at Oceana.