Washington, D.C. — Today, President Donald Trump is expected to announce that his administration is rolling back protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast of New England, allowing commercial fishing to take place there. This is an illegal use of authority that will gut 84 percent of protections for oceans in the continental United States. President Barack Obama designated the national monument through the Antiquities Act, a law intended to be used as a one-way ratchet for presidents to protect natural, cultural, and historic resources. In response, Christy Goldfuss, senior vice president for Energy and Environment Policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
Amid a global pandemic, an economic crisis, and a nation reckoning with centuries of racial injustice, Trump has chosen to announce a rash of harmful policies that destroy our common home, silence communities of color, and disproportionately affect the most vulnerable among us.
Trump’s ocean protection rollback is illegal and solidifies his standing as the most anti-nature president in our nation’s history. With less than 1 percent of the ocean protected in the lower 48 states, rapid warming, and many ocean animals in deep decline, we should be working together to protect more habitat for whales, dolphins, and turtles—not less. If Trump were serious about helping fishermen, he’d work with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to get them financial relief.
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