Last September, former President George W. Bush signed an amendment to a 1995 Executive Order to protect recreational boating and fishing access on federal waters and marine protected areas. The amendment ensures that fishing will be managed as a sustainable activity in national wildlife refuges, parks, marine sanctuaries, marine protected areas or any other relevant conservation or management area under federal authority, and provides new and clear direction to federal agencies charged with management of natural resources.
“Given the other issues facing Washington, we applaud the president for recognizing the role recreational boaters and anglers play in conservation,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “This Order re-establishes a long-standing federal policy to allow and encourage access to public lands and waters for recreational purposes consistent with resource protection.”
This amendment comes after an Aug. 25 Executive Memo to the secretaries of defense, interior and commerce, and the chairman of the council on environmental quality that directed a study toward potential marine protected areas in the central Pacific Ocean.