Trump's new executive order: Forget conservation. The oceans are for drilling and industry.

Credit: Carolyn Cole/LA Times via NOAA

The oceans are in crisis: They’re drowning in plastic, overfished, becoming more acidic, and heating up. But President Trump's new executive order can't be bothered by any of that. The order tosses the former National Ocean Policy, Executive Order 13547, and with it references to climate change, ocean acidification, biodiversity, and conservation. Instead, Trump directs agencies to help enhance energy security and, of course, ensure that federal regulations don’t prevent the productive use (read: exploitation) of our oceans and Great Lake waters. The new order eliminates the requirement for federal agencies to work hand-in-hand with coastal states and tribes to plan ahead for their region’s ocean needs. In short, the new policy is a major step backward from environmental stewardship at a time when we can least afford it.


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