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E2 Advocacy - Oceans & Coasts
Like a Clean Air Act for our air or a Clean Water Act for our water, we need a national policy that will offer landmark protection for our oceans. One major obstacle to protecting our oceans is the fact that they are currently governed by a mix of more than 140 laws and 20 different agencies. From overfishing and pollution, to warming temperatures and ocean acidification - a national ocean policy strengthens the government's ability to tackle these challenges.
California's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) requires the state to improve protection of its coastal waters and marine life by creating safe havens for marine wildlife and habitat - marine protected areas (MPAs). MPAs provide ecosystems for fish populations to regenerate to sustainable levels and increase the economic value of fisheries. California business leaders recognize the benefits that healthy oceans and well-managed fisheries bring to our state's economy, and we are encouraging the Fish & Game Commission to adopt the strongest network possible for its region-by-region implementation of MPAs.
New England's oceans and fisheries need balanced policies that help grow the economy by restoring fisheries to sustainable levels while maintaining the fishery infrastructure in communities. E2 worked with the region's national and state leaders to protect the integrity of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and implement Amendment 13 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan to address the alarming decline of the region's groundfish populations.
The Massachusetts Ocean Act seeks to balance the need for various ocean uses and the need for conservation of critical ecosystems. The bill provides MA with the necessary structure to balance commercial use, personal recreation and protection and preservation of ocean life. It is the first bill of its kind in the nation.