Washington, DC - ADVANCING OUR UNDERSTANDING OF OUR OCEANS AND COASTLINES: President Donald J. Trump is directing Federal agencies to develop a national strategy to map the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and a strategy to map the Alaskan coastline.
- The U.S. EEZ is among the largest in the world and is larger than the combined land area of all fifty states.
- Only about 40 percent of the U.S. EEZ has been mapped and significantly less of the area has natural resources and ocean systems that have been characterized, including identification and evaluation, by executive departments and agencies.
- Alaska and the Alaskan Arctic lack the comprehensive shoreline and nearshore maps available to much of the Nation.
- President Trump is directing the co-chairs of the Ocean Policy Committee (OPC), established by Executive Order 13840, to coordinate the development of a plan for mapping, exploring, and characterizing the U.S. EEZ.
- Furthering our understanding of the resources in the U.S. EEZ is important to conservation, management, and balanced use of our Nation’s oceans.
- The President is directing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to coordinate with the State of Alaska and the Alaska Mapping Executive Committee to develop a strategy to map the Alaska coastline.
- Accurate mapping will support economic growth, resource management, and the safety and security of coastal residents.
STREAMLINING PERMITTING: The President is promoting efficient permitting for ocean exploration, mapping, and research activities.
- These activities can involve multiple environmental reviews, consultations, and permits.
- President Trump is directing the OPC to recommend actions to increase the efficiency of the permitting process for ocean exploration activities across Federal agencies.
SUPPORTING AMERICA’S FUTURE PROSPERITY, HEALTH, AND NATIONAL SECURITY: President Trump’s actions will benefit the U.S. economy, national security, and environment.
- America’s oceans and coastlines contribute significantly to the national economy.
- NOAA estimates that the ocean economy produces more than $300 billion in goods and services.
- NOAA has estimated that there are approximately 154,000 ocean-dependent businesses, which in 2016 employed more than 3 million people and paid $129 billion in wages.
- Additional mapping and research will improve our Nation’s understanding of the vast resources in our oceans, including new sources of critical minerals, biopharmaceuticals, and energy, and areas of significant ecological and conservation value.