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Obama Creates National Ocean Council

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Photo by wonderlane via Flickr

Photo by wonderlane via Flickr
On Monday, President Barack Obama created a new council entirely devoted to the protection of our oceans.

The National Ocean Council will oversee the recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force to protect, maintain and restore the health and biodiversity of the oceans, coast, and great Lakes, according to the White House blog.

The council will also be in charge of creating safe access for use within the bodies of water as well as foster public understanding regarding stewardship of our oceans.

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Some, however, are encouraging the council to go one step further and adapt a method called marine spatial planning, which looks at the ocean impact by region.

This is would be a huge win for environmentalists who have been working on the type of planning, such as Marine Protection Areas under the current California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), which ropes off coastal areas to act as protection zones for marine life to restore and flourish without disruption of human activity.

Officials say that this kind of spatial management helps protect and restore ecosystems in our oceans more effectively, according to KPCC.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill definitely acted as a catalyst in the creation of the council, but it was not the only factor. Efforts to create such a council started back in 2009.