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Saturday, June 6, 2020

When we’re not looking….

Trump tries to trash the Northeast Seamounts marine preserve
By Will Collette

What You Should Know About The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts ...Our country is bunkered by the pandemic, but motivated to come out to protest institutional racism. 

The Trump administration has used these powerful events like a cover of tear gas to commit other atrocities, knowing there are just so many battles people can fight at one time.

Some of the worst of these are environmental crimes committed by an administration that places no value on anything but corporate profit.

The latest is a Trump Executive Order that opens up the nation’s ONLY marine preserve, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine Preserve to industrial fishing.

Here’s how the Natural Resources Defense Council described it:
Just one day after issuing an executive order that allows polluters to skirt bedrock environmental laws, President Trump signed an order today [June 5] —in the middle of a nation in crisis—this time stripping essential protections from the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. Located off the coast of southern New England, these nearly 5,000 square miles in the Atlantic are home to more than 1,000 remarkable species. Today’s decision is an illegal attempt to open the region up to industrial fishing and to pad Trump’s record as the most environmentally-destructive president in the nation’s history.
This order negates the whole purpose of the Preserve: the preservation of marine species pushed to the brink of extinction by over-fishing.

NRDC explains what the preserve contains and what will be lost if this illegal act is not stopped:
Established in 2016 as the first and only marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts features dramatic underwater terrain, with canyons that rival the depth of the Grand Canyon and steep underwater mountains higher than anything east of the Rockies. It’s also a hot spot of biodiversity, teeming with ancient coral, giant fish, and undiscovered species, as well as an important nursery area for dolphins and whales.
You can count on this action being challenged in federal court.

Rhode Island Representative Jim Langevin issued this statement:
“The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is a fragile national natural treasure that is home to beautiful sea life, including deep-sea corals that are especially vulnerable to habitat changes. We need to prioritize the protection of our delicate marine ecosystems while taking into account the vibrancy of our blue economy.
No decision that impacts the conservation of our planet and risks irreplaceable natural resources can be made lightly. It must be driven by careful analysis of data and thorough consideration of the input of all stakeholders, particularly those in affected communities.
None of these criteria are reflected in the President’s shortsighted decision, which represents his continued failure to lead strategic, regional ocean policy. I’m committed to working with leaders and advocates from across New England to balance important preservation efforts and the rich legacy of our fishing sector.”