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Vice President Gore Announces New Efforts to Protect Our Oceans

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The Briefing Room

Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release Thursday, June 11, 1998


Participates in National Ocean Conference, Hosts Discussion With Conference Panels

Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore announced today four new effortsto chart a sustainable future for the nation's oceans before participatingin the Administration's National Ocean Conference.

"In the 21st century, the world will look increasingly to the oceansfor food, fuel, new medicines, and other resources," Vice President Goresaid. "Already, we see troubling signs that marine resources areover-stressed. We must be careful stewards and ensure the oceans areprotected for all time."

Upon arrival in Monterey, the Vice President toured the Monterey BayAquarium Research Institute's (MBARI) vessel, viewed a demonstration of itsremotely operated vehicle, and announced the following efforts to protectthe nation's oceans:

  • Exploration: Provide an additional $4 million a year in 2000, 2001,2002 to expand two shallow-water observatories (Leo in New Jersey, Aquariusin Florida); develop two new deep-ocean observatories (in San Juan de FucaRidge and the Gulf of Mexico); develop two new submersible vehicles thatcan go deeper than any before (this will be done in partnership withothers); contribute $250,000 a year to a partnership with NationalGeographic Society and the Goldman Foundation to map and explorebiodiversity in the 12 national marine sanctuaries; and assess the economicvalue of U.S. marine resources. This initiative also calls forstrengthening marine protected areas by completing an inventory of marinesanctuaries and revising sanctuary management plans by 2002.

  • Declassification of Military Data and Technology: As a result of the Environmental Task Force that Vice President Gore originated while serving in the Senate, the Navy will release Arctic under-ice data collected by submarines that will enhance our understanding of the climate system. The Navy also will work with the private sector to release previously classified data once used to hunt submarines. These data can be used to track whale migrations, predict tsunamis, detect illegal fishing, and support climate change research. Over the next five years, the Defense Department will complete and release to the public computer-based nautical charts for most international waters.

  • Climate Change: Provide an additional $4 million a year over three years to complete an ocean monitoring system by 2002. This system will complement satellite measurements and provide a better understanding of the relationship between oceans and long-term climate change and predict regional impacts of climate change.

  • Protecting Our Coastal Waters: As part of the President's Clean Water Action plan: EPA will launch a web site to inform the public of beach closings and advisories; Federal agencies will work with states to research, predict, and control toxic algae blooms; and Federal agencies will help states develop plans to reduce polluted runoff to coastal waters. The President will call on Congress to fully fund the five-year, $2.3 billion Clean Water Action Plan.

Also Thursday, the Vice President joined the National Ocean Conferenceand received a report from panel participants. The conference panelsincluded: Oceans and Commerce; Oceans and Global Security; OceanEnvironment and Health; and Ocean, Exploration, Education and Research. Inaddition, the Vice President led a discussion with all four panels.

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