Jewell applauds Obama's offshore drilling banNews // December 21, 2016
US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell hasy applauded President Obama’s announcement that he is withdrawing offshore areas in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans from future mineral extraction to protect these ecologically sensitive marine environments from the impacts of any future oil and gas exploration and development.
The withdrawal does not restrict other uses of these federal waters on the Outer Continental Shelf, and will help to sustain commercial and recreational fisheries in the Atlantic to support fishing-dependent communities, as well as the harvest of marine resources on which many Alaska Native communities rely for subsistence use and cultural traditions.
“The President’s bold action recognizes the vulnerable marine environments in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, their critical and irreplaceable ecological value, as well as the unique role that commercial fishing and subsistence use plays in the regions’ economies and cultures,” Secretary Jewell said. “The withdrawal will help build the resilience of these vital ecosystems, provide refuges for at-risk species, sustain commercial fisheries and subsistence traditions, and create natural laboratories for scientists to monitor and explore the impacts of climate change.”
The withdrawal areas announced today encompass 3.8 million acres in the north and mid-Atlantic Ocean off the East Coast and 115 million acres in the US Arctic Ocean. Including previous presidential withdrawals, this most recent action protects nearly 125 million acres in the offshore Arctic from future oil and gas activity.