“The Supreme Court correctly rejected this baseless challenge to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument,” said Peter Shelley, Senior Counsel at CLF. “The science supporting the need for this critical protected area—the only one along the Atlantic seaboard—has only gotten stronger and more compelling. The Biden Administration must now reinstate the ban on commercial fishing within the monument’s boundaries as soon as possible.”
Supreme Court denies fishing industry challenge to marine monument, while opening the door to future challenges
“It’s concerning any time you get a statement like this from a justice, especially from the chief justice,” said Peter Shelley, senior counsel at the Conservation Law Foundation in Boston. “The tea leaves of this statement are going to be read closely by people with very different perspectives.”
Early announcements from the new administration give reason for optimism and could help us leave a healthy ocean for future generations. The emphasis on conserving protected ocean areas like the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts means the ocean has a shot at recovering from the damage humans have inflicted.
Protected areas like the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts are critical in the fight to give these waters and species a chance to recover. We know that setting aside parts of the ocean leads to healthy marine life, which fuels an abundance and diversity of life in adjacent waters. That, in turn, supports our ocean economy, including commercial and recreational fishing and whale watching in the long run. Everyone wins.
Biden’s flurry of executive orders addressing climate change, conservation, and environmental justice has us optimistic. Now we must ensure his administration follows through and turns these orders into meaningful and actionable policy.
President Biden’s flurry of actions to protect the environment reignites a controversy about the Atlantic’s only marine monument
“Last summer, we watched in shock as President Trump effectively nullified the monument status of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts by opening it to commercial fishing,” said Bradley Campbell, president of the Conservation Law Foundation. “Defending this monument is critical for protecting valuable species, confronting the climate crisis, and leaving a healthy ocean for future generations.”
As we celebrate the four-year anniversary of New England’s national monuments, CLF is part of a growing movement of scientists, policymakers, businesses, and conservation organizations in the United States and around the world calling for the global protection of at least 30% of land and 30% of the ocean by 2030.
We know that to protect biodiversity and build our ocean’s resilience to climate change, we must protect much more of New England’s ocean.
And this is New England’s only marine monument, one of very few unspoiled areas that can provide resilience and refuge for ocean resources (and a future for fishermen) in a fast-changing climate. Now, only the courts can stop it from being sacrificed for a photo op.
“Trump has once again eliminated critical natural resource protections on a whim, and with no legal authority,” said Brad Campbell, president of the foundation. “This lawless act upends over a century of practice by presidents of both parties, and puts all national monuments on the block for the highest political bidder.”