In April President Trump instructed the Department of the Interior to review Northeast Canyons and Seamounts’ monument designation. On Aug 24th, according to a leaked copy of his report, Secretary Zinke recommended erasing protections: opening the ocean sanctuary to industrial-scale commercial fishing and leaving open the possibility of shrinking the monument.
Location: Atlantic Ocean
Established: September 15, 2016
What is the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument Known For?"It is a massive undersea area where the continental shelf drops off into the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean, In those deep waters, four extinct underwater volcanoes, called seamounts, provide habitat for a number of cold-water corals that are hundreds, and some thousands, of years old. "The ecosystem provides a breeding and feeding ground for a number of fish and other marine animals, including whales." (Proclamation)
Why is the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Maine National Monument Threatened?Oil drilling: On July 3, 2017, the Trump Administration began accepting comments from the oil and gas industry regarding whether the "the industry respondent would be interested in acquiring oil and gas leases" on the outer continental shelf, including Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.
Overfishing: Lobster, tuna and other species in the Atlantic are on the brink of collapse. This marine monument provides a refuge to help rebuild those populations so we don’t lose them forever. The fishing industry continues to lobby the Trump administration to open this area back up to fishing.
What can we do?We can challenge President Trump and Secretary Zinke's unprecedented move to potentially ERASE protections for Northeast Canyons and Seamounts. The legal case against the president is strong -- the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 affirmed that only Congress has the authority to modify national monuments. But in addition to lawsuits we need New England and Atlantic U.S. Senators to do all they can to make sure Northeast Canyons and Seamounts protections remain in place.
Sign the petition to Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Chris Murphy (Conn.), Chuck Shumer (N.Y.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Bob Menendez (N.J.) and Cory Booker (N.J.) and ask them to stand up for Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, which belongs to all Americans.
New England and Atlantic U.S. Senators need to stand up and champion the protection of Northeast Canyons and Seamounts.