Divvying up the world's oceans

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A handful of states, including Massachusetts, California and Rhode Island, have started drawing up rules and procedures to determine where in the ocean certain activities can take place.

According to a report in the Washington Post, the federal government is considering adopting a similar approach, though any effort would involve sorting out the role of 20 agencies that administer roughly 140 ocean-related laws.

"It's really an idea whose time has come, and it's one of my top priorities," Jane Lubchenco, chair of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told the newspaper. "By focusing on different sectors, nobody is paying attention to the whole - in particular, the health of the system."

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