Trump targets oceans for development

President Trump declared June as National Ocean Month in an order that could open the oceans to clean energy projects that harness the wind and ocean currents. The proclamation says the Exclusive Economic Zone, areas of the ocean where the U.S. has the right under international law to exploit its resources and “an invaluable national asset,” is “underutilized.” Trump vowed in the statement to “develop and deploy new technologies in partnership with American academic institutions and innovators” to “harness the vast resources” of the zone. “We will streamline regulations and administrative practices to promote economic growth, while protecting our marine environment for current and future generations,” it stated. “We will also create new opportunities for American products in the global marketplace, including through continued support of our commercial fisheries and promotion of domestic aquaculture.” The nation’s economic exclusion zones are no more than 200 nautical miles from the territorial seas that border Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and other territory where the U.S. exercises sovereignty. The maritime areas also include Hawaii and Alaska. Trump also underscored his plan to advance the nation’s environmental and economic interests. The proclamation said it is “critical” that the U.S. explore, map, and inventory the nation’s waters and pursue “advanced observational technologies and forecasting capabilities” to better track storms. “By exploring, developing, and conserving the ocean resources of our great nation, we will augment our economic competitiveness, enhance our national security, and ensure American prosperity,” the statement said.

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