STATEMENT: A new blueprint for our oceans would be a sea change for marine habitats and climate change
WASHINGTON -- An ambitious new bill introduced on Tuesday by House Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva would change Americans’ relationship with our oceans and aid in our fight against climate change. The legislation safeguards large swaths of our oceans; promotes ocean-habitats that most effectively store carbon; and limits human activities that harm important habitats and wildlife.
The act includes provisions that end offshore drilling leasing in all U.S. oceans, protect 30 percent of U.S. oceans from destructive activities by 2030, and increase permitting for offshore wind. The bill also calls for the conservation and restoration of blue carbon ecosystems, including kelp forests, seagrass meadows and coastal wetlands, and heightens protections for endangered marine mammals.
Wendy Wendlandt, acting president of Environment America, released the following statement:
“From sea to shining sea, coastal waters -- and the amazing animals that live in them -- have always held a special place in Americans’ hearts. Now, climate change is threatening those habitats. This bill offers concrete answers on how we can turn the tide against global warming and ensures awe-inspiring marine species have a fighting chance at survival.
“We know that our impact on the ocean, from overfishing to offshore drilling, has put whales, sea turtles, sea otters and more, as well as our climate, at risk. Working to preserve ocean habitats and end dirty, dangerous offshore drilling would create a sea change in the effort to safeguard our ocean heritage for future generations.
“If we let it, the ocean can be an ally in our fight against climate change. From expanding clean, renewable offshore wind to protecting and restoring ecosystems that can absorb and store carbon dioxide, this bill creates a blueprint for a better future in our oceans and on our planet.”