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Boxer proposes major overhaul in oceans policy

US - California Sen. Barbara Boxer introduced legislation Thursday to address threats to the world&#39;s oceans, including tougher rules to reduce overfishing and strict new limits on agricultural and storm-water runoff. </b> <br><br> The measure also would spin off the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration into an independent agency -- separate from the Commerce Department, where it has been based since its creation in 1970 -- in a move proponents say would boost the autonomy of its scientists. <br><br> The legislation faces an uphill battle in Congress, which has not taken up a broad overhaul of the nation&#39;s oceans policy for more than three decades. Boxer, a Democrat, has not secured any Republican co-sponsors for her bill and may have difficulty even getting a hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee. <br><br> At a news conference on Thursday, Boxer said she plans to use the same strategy she has employed on her 2002 California Wild Heritage Wilderness Bill, where she has managed to get some areas designated as wilderness while falling short of her goal of adding 2.5 million acres of new wild lands. <br><br> <i>Source: sfgate.com</I>

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