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June 20, 2024 | In The News

Florida Rep. Greg Steube Pushes Effort To Name 4,383,000 Square Miles Of The Ocean After Trump

TAMPA FREE PRESS — U.S. Representative Greg Steube (R-Fla.) will introduce a bill Friday to designate the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the United States as the “Donald John Trump Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States.”
The bill requires any reference to the EEZ in law, map, regulation, document, paper, or other record of the U.S. to be named the “Donald John Trump Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States.”

“Floridians know the great value of our coastal natural resources and how important it is to have a president who cares about the strength and resilience of our oceans. During his time in office, President Trump took several commendable actions for our oceans as part of his work to make America strong, secure, and economically prosperous,” said Steube. “I’m honored to introduce legislation that will rename our coastal waters after President Trump and serve as a reminder of his many contributions to our nation for generations to come.”

The Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) refers to the waterways immediately off a country’s coast, where that nation can claim sole rights for fishing, drilling, and other economic activities.

With a total area of 4,383,000 square miles, the United States boasts the largest EEZ in the world, encompassing a vast expanse of ocean that is critical to the nation’s economic and strategic interests.

The EEZ is a crucial component of a country’s maritime domain, providing access to valuable natural resources and enabling the exercise of sovereign rights. For the United States, the EEZ supports a thriving fishing industry, facilitates offshore energy production, and strengthens national security by extending the nation’s reach and influence over its coastal waters.

The proposed legislation faces significant hurdles, as it is unlikely to gain traction in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Nevertheless, the initiative reflects the deep partisan divide and the ongoing efforts by some Republicans to cement Trump’s legacy and influence within the party.

President Trump’s actions include:

  • As President, he issued four Presidential Ocean Proclamations.
  • On June 19, 2018, President Trump signed Executive Order 13840 to coordinate and streamline Federal actions related to ocean science and technology and ocean resource management through the establishment of an interagency Ocean Policy Committee.
  • On November 19, 2019, President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum directing Federal agencies to develop a National strategy to map the United States’ EEZ and a strategy to map the Alaskan coastline to advance our understanding of our oceans and coastlines and to promote efficient permitting related to ocean exploration activities.
  • On December 18, 2020, President Trump signed three bills to benefit our oceans into law:
    • The National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2020 reauthorized the National Sea Grant College Program through fiscal year 2024, through which NOAA supports university-based programs that focus on studying, conserving, and effectively using U.S. coastal resources. It also modified the Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program.
    • The Digital Coast Act, revised the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Digital Coast program for critical coastal management and data tracking for the ocean and the Great Lakes coasts.
    • The Save Our Seas 2.0 Act, established a nongovernmental Marine Debris Foundation and a prize competition for the “Genius Prize for Save Our Seas Innovation”; increases efforts to engage, cooperate, and coordinate with other governmental and nongovernmental entities to raise international awareness of plastic waste and combat marine debris; and creates infrastructure grant programs to be administered by the EPA.