White House eliminates advisory boards for marine life, invasive species

Articles The Hill

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The Trump administration is disbanding two federal advisory boards focused on protecting marine life and battling invasive species.

As of Tuesday, the government will no longer fund the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or the Interior Department’s Invasive Species Advisory Committee, the two agencies confirmed.

Both federal advisory panels have been in operation for more than a decade.

The discontinuation the committees as well as the end of the work of the various scientists and academics on them comes as the Trump administration has called for cutting at least one-third of all advisory panels. Monday was the deadline for each agency to comply with the June executive order.

Advisers on the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee were first alerted via email Monday that the council was being disbanded but were offered no explanation, two scientists on the committee told The Hill.

“Two years ago, when the federal advisory committee was up for renewal, a lot of us thought it would get the ax given the politics of the federal government. When it didn’t, we were surprised and glad we had the extra two years,” said Will McClintock a scientist on the council. “Now that it’s been discontinued, I can only guess at the reasons why.”

The panel advises NOAA on ways to strengthen the country’s marine protected areas and identify challenges facing them. It was chartered in 2003 under former President George W. Bush.