Article by Juliet Eilperin from the Washington Post on President Obama’s vast expansion of Pacific Ocean sanctuaries for marine life.
President Obama announced his intent to make a broad swath of the central Pacific Ocean off-limits to fishing, energy exploration and other activities.
The proposal, slated to go into effect later this year after a comment period, could create the world’s largest marine sanctuary and double the area of ocean globally that is fully protected.
“I’m going to use my authority to protect some of our nation’s most precious marine landscapes,” Obama said in a video to participants at a State Department conference, adding that while the ocean is being degraded, “We cannot afford to let that happen. That’s why the United States is leading the fight to protect our oceans.”
The announcement — first reported earlier Tuesday by The Washington Post — is part of a broader push on maritime issues by an administration that has generally favored other environmental priorities. The oceans effort, led by Secretary of State John F. Kerry and White House counselor John D. Podesta, is likely to spark a new political battle with Republicans over the scope of Obama’s executive powers.
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