How Obama wants to protect oceans: White House unveils new plan
The Obama administration wants to change the way America manages its oceans. So it has introduced a plan to bring all stakeholders – from fishermen to oil companies – to the table.
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Rather, spatial planning is seen as new framework for looking at the problem and resolving conflicts.Skip to next paragraph
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With disparate groups ranging from fishermen's associations to tribal authorities potentially laying claim to various swaths of ocean, the likelihood of conflict is high. But officials are hoping that the National Ocean Council will help resolve potential conflicts, too.
"It sounds very bureaucratic, but it really isn't," Dr. Rosenberg says. "It's exactly the sorts of concerns that people are pointing to today in the Gulf of Mexico – where the Minerals Management Service was doing things and other agencies were not fully engaged in raising warning flags."
Environmentalists voiced their support Monday.
“For the first time in this country’s history, we will have a national policy that aligns the great promise of our oceans with the great responsibility for managing them in a coordinated, thoughtful, and sustainable fashion," Priscilla Brooks, vice president and director of Conservation Law Foundation’s ocean conservation program, said in a statement.
But others were concerned.
The American Sport Fishing Association said in a statement on its website that it was worried about "significant, fundamental changes to both the regulatory structure.... Of particular concern is the potential creation of new bureaucracies that would impose top-down regulations, which would impinge on state agencies which have primary jurisdiction for resident fish and wildlife."
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