The ocean, relatively still, with some small white-cap waves; a light blue sky filled with wispy clouds.

Oceans & Water Policy

America’s oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and wetlands form the backbone of local and regional economies across the country. They facilitate the transport of people and goods, support a wide variety of recreational activities, and add immeasurable beauty to our landscapes.


Under the Trump administration, federal agencies retreated from their role in protecting the health and integrity of America’s waters. In response, state attorneys general stepped up to defend against oil spills, chemical and biological pollution, including commercial and industrial runoff, invasive species and other forms of degradation.

State attorneys general have fought to ensure proper enforcement of existing regulations, and have defended the Waters of the United States rule governing the scope of the Clean Water Act’s protections. Their comments and litigation have been critical in protecting important aquatic and marine resources that span from the Atlantic coast, the Chesapeake Bay, the Great Lakes, to the Pacific Ocean.

State attorneys general also challenged Trump Administration proposals to expand offshore oil and gas drilling and roll back environmental and safety protections put in place in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.