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Obama Administration Moves Forward with Plan to Zone the Ocean

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 12, 2012 - Today President Obama’s National Ocean Council, created by an Executive Order in 2010, released a draft action plan to move forward with the Administration’s goal of imposing new mandatory “ocean zoning.” This initiative could place huge portions of the ocean off limits to all types of recreational, commercial and agricultural activities – destroying jobs and harming our economy. It could also reach far inland and impact all activities that occur on lands adjacent to rivers, tributaries or watersheds that drain into the ocean.

“The Obama Administration continues to balloon the size of the federal government by moving full steam ahead with their unilateral attempt to make major changes to policies governing the use of our oceans and create a new top-down bureaucracy that will change the way inland, ocean and coastal activities are managed,” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings. “The goals of improving coordination between federal agencies, sharing information and reducing duplication are supported by all. This policy isn’t about protecting the ocean; it’s about expanding power and government control over Americans’ lives. The White House is single-handedly pushing through far-reaching policies that could cause significant job loss and economic damage both offshore and onshore. The Committee will review the draft recommendations and hold additional hearings to get answers from the Administration on the implementation and effects of this policy.”


  • Press Release - Administration Dodges Questions on Obama’s Ocean Zoning Plan, Witnesses Begrudge Lack of Public Participation, Potential Implications (10/26/2011)
  • Press Release - Witnesses: President Obama’s Ocean Zoning Plan Will Stifle Economic Growth, Create Regulatory Uncertainty, Threaten Jobs (10/04/2011)


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Contact: Jill Strait, Spencer Pederson or Crystal Feldman 202-226-9019

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