CLF Taking Trump Administration to Court for Decimating Monument Protections

President unlawfully opened Northeast Canyons and Seamounts to industrial fishing

Photo: NOAA

June 17, 2020 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration today challenging the President’s unlawful decision to open the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument to industrial fishing. Trump made the announcement during a visit to Maine two weeks ago, and the lawsuit charges that the president has violated the Antiquities Act by stripping critical protections from this national treasure without any legal authority or any scientific justification.

“Trump has once again eliminated critical natural resource protections on a whim and with no legal authority,” said CLF President Brad Campbell. “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.  CLF is going to court to protect this natural treasure, one that provides resilience, refuge, and hope near one of the fastest-warming bodies of water in the world.”

Established in 2016, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument protects ancient and fragile coral communities, endangered whales, and an abundance of unique and rare marine life. It is the only ocean monument on the entire U.S. Atlantic seaboard. CLF intervened in a federal lawsuit in 2018 to protect the monument, and the court ruled that the monument was properly created, justified, and within President Obama’s authority.

CLF is joined in the lawsuit by NRDC, Center for Biological Diversity, and Zack Klyver, a veteran whale watch observer and advocate. The lawsuit can be found here.

Footage of the monument for media use can be found here. Credit: Footage supplied courtesy of OceanX and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

CLF experts are available for further comment.