Obama Announces New Waterway Protection Policy

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is announcing a new national policy for strengthening the way the U.S. manages its oceans, coasts and the Great Lakes.

Officials say the framework is needed now more than ever following the massive Gulf oil spill.

The policy calls for the creation of a new National Ocean Council that will coordinate the work of the myriad of federal agencies involved in conservation and marine planning. But it creates no new restrictions or regulations, and is not expected to have any short-term impact on offshore oil drilling.

Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the new policy recognizes that use of the ocean is expanding at a rate that challenges the ability to manage competing demands.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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