Bush Considers Massive Marine Conservation Effort

The Bush Administration is reportedly considering the creation of some of the world's large marine reserves by using the presidential powers granted by the Antiquities Act of 1906.

"If implemented, President George W. Bush could, with the stroke of a pen, protect vast stretches of U.S. territorial waters from fishing, oil exploration and other forms of commercial development. The initiative could also create some of the largest marine reserves in the world - far larger than national parks like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon."

"The idea is drawing strong support from conservationists who typically have been harshly critical of the Bush administration's overall environmental record. But some of the possible reserves are already attracting opposition from local leaders and industry groups and from some members of Congress."

"Conservationists say that CEQ officials last year invited a small number of ocean advocates to an unusual, closed-door meeting to discuss the idea. The White House asked them to help identify potential reserves in waters within the United States' 'exclusive economic zone,' which extends 200 nautical miles out from the mainland and U.S.-owned islands around the world."

"The idea, says Sobel, was to highlight areas where President Bush could create "marine monuments" under the Antiquities Act of 1906. This law gives the president broad powers to protect areas of "historic or scientific interest" without congressional approval."

Full Story: Bush Eyes Unprecedented Conservation Program

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