As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. President Trump revoked the National Ocean Policy last summer, but here in New England, ocean planning – the idea that we can be smarter and more coordinated about how we collectively use and manage our ocean – lives on.
As National Ocean Month ended last week, I’m reflecting on the past month. Things may seem bleak, with the Trump administration pushing an agenda that disregards the health of the ocean we were celebrating, but I found hope in my colleagues and comrades. These incredible people and their work holding Trump accountable for his determinantal actions are what I celebrated this month.
In an executive order, Trump revoked the nearly decade old National Ocean Policy established by President Obama in 2010, stripping our nation of its policy of ocean stewardship and replacing it with one of maximum ocean exploitation..
When the Northeast Regional Ocean Plan was approved for New England’s federal waters last year, it capped off a journey for CLF that began nearly two decades ago.
In this special issue of Conservation Matters, we want to take you behind the scenes of our work, to give you a glimpse into how we break down challenges and take advantage of opportunities to create a healthy, thriving New England – not just for today, but for generations to come.
“Mr. Rafael’s crimes put the health of our fisheries directly in harm’s way, and today’s order helps ensure that he pays a price for that corruption,” said CLF attorney Megan Herzog. “Though this amounts to just a small slice of Mr. Rafael’s assets, it sends a signal that anyone who crosses the line will be held criminally accountable. By reinvesting proceeds associated with this case into stronger monitoring and redistributing Mr. Rafael’s forfeited quota among the fishermen harmed by his egregious crimes, we can begin to turn the page on this dark chapter in New England’s fisheries.”
Instead of using National Ocean Month as a platform for promoting conservation, Trump seized the moment to suggest ways to exploit and destroy our oceans treasures.
Massachusetts is a state of extraordinary range – from our miles of coastline to the western mountains, our dense hardwood forests to our working farms, our thickly settled city neighborhoods to our rural village greens.