05/29/2008 - Gov. Deval Patrick signed into law Wednesday a measure that will establish the nation’s first management and protection plan for a state’s ocean waters.
The law sets ground rules for all offshore projects and businesses, including energy ventures and conservation areas that lie in state waters. The state controls all water within three miles of the coast, about 1.6 million acres of water.
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In 2003, the Pew Oceans Commission issued a report saying that states and the federal government were not protecting and managing ocean resources. It said the United States had “failed to conceive of the oceans as our largest public domain, to be managed holistically for the greater good.”
Leon E. Panetta, a White House chief of staff in the Clinton administration and the chairman of the Pew Oceans Commission, said in a statement Wednesday that the Massachusetts law followed the spirit of what the Pew report called for.
Read the full article Massachusetts Law to Manage and Protect Ocean Waters on the New York Times' Web site.
Read more about the work of the Pew Oceans Commission.