For immediate release: June 21st, 2018

Statement by Environmental Defence’s Tim Gray on the repeal of Obama-era protections for America’s oceans, coasts and Great Lakes

Toronto, Ont. – Late on Tuesday, President Trump issued an Executive Order revoking President Obama’s 2010 National Oceans Policy.  President Obama’s policy was implemented in response to the deadly Deepwater Horizon oil spill of the same year, and focused on restoring the health and protections of America’s coasts, oceans and Great Lakes. The replacement order makes no mention of the disastrous oil spill, and precious little mention of environmental health.

The language of President Trump’s executive order represents a significant shift away from protecting and supporting vulnerable aquatic environments, and towards the aggressive exploitation and expansion of industry within the USA’s Great Lakes and coastal regions.  This is a mistake.  Relaxing protections for the Great Lakes against industrial development could do untold damage to the fish, animals and natural ecosystems which reside there, in turn having a serious impact on the people and businesses that rely on them.

The Great Lakes economy is valued at almost $6 trillion USD, and is the largest body of fresh water in the world, providing drinking water for 40 million people. Strong national environmental policies are needed on both sides of the border to protect those people and their livelihoods.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca) Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Rachel Kitchin, Environmental Defence; 416-323-9521 x 246; rkitchin@environmentaldefence.ca