Charter and others also said the new policy, while still only a framework with no immediate mandates, would make it harder for states and other regional players to pursue action on conservation and climate change.
President Donald Trump recently issued a new executive order for an ocean policy that has a marked focus on energy independence, security and economic growth, effectively replacing former President Barack Obama's National Ocean Policy established in 2010.
The order led to the creation of a National Ocean Council and nine regional bodies that met regularly to share research and discuss policy. President Donald Trump is throwing out a policy devised by his predecessor for protecting US oceans and the Great Lakes, replacing it with a new approach that emphasizes use of the waters to promote economic growth. He says this order gives industry a say in ocean and Great Lakes legislation.
The goal of the National Ocean Council was to coordinate the activities of a wide number of federal agencies charged with regulating different aspects of ocean regulations and develop regional plans to combine these resources and streamline management.
Jacqueline Savitz, a chief policy officer with environmental group Oceana, said in a statement Trump's order "undercuts important conservation measures needed to support strong coastal economies and the millions of Americans who depend on healthy oceans".
While most eyes have been on the nation's southern border, the White House this week rolled out a new policy for the coasts, reversing an Obama-era program that sought greater protection of the high seas and angering environmentalists from New England to California.
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"Domestic energy production from Federal waters strengthens the Nation's security and reduces reliance on imported energy", the order states.
However, the National Ocean Policy Coalition, a group made up of oil and gas companies, fishermen and other industries, applauds Trump's move.
The Trump administration has proposed drilling in almost all federal waters, a plan still in development.
"President Trump's action will help the health of our oceans and ensure local communities impacted by ocean policy have a seat at the table".
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat and ranking member of the committee, demanded a hearing and accused Trump of "unilaterally throwing out" years of conservation work.