Environmental Defense Statement On White House Action On Marine Protected Areas

May 26, 2000

Environmental Defense today praised a White House proposal, due to be announced today, which is designed to set up a network of marine protected areas to preserve examples of ocean ecosystems off US shores.

Spills from animal waste lagoons have caused massive fish kills in North Carolina, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia during the last several years. Animal waste disposal systems contaminate drinking water wells, pollute the air and degrade rivers and bays.

“We are pleased that President Clinton has taken an important step to protect the integrity of our oceans,” said Dr. Pete Emerson, an Environmental Defense senior economist. “Well-defined scientific criteria should be used to underlie this new network of marine protected areas, a system of ocean preserves that eventually could mirror the system of protected forests and parks on land.”

“Coastal and ocean waters are a national treasure. They belong to all Americans and deserve to be protected like our finest National Parks,” said Emerson.