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.