[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) issued the following statement after President Trump signed a proclamation rolling back protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument and opened the region’s only national marine monument to commercial fishing:
“The President’s rollback of protections for New England’s only national marine monument on World Environment Day is a brazen, intentional slap in the face of all Americans. Instead of focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic or the calls for racial justice, President Trump has taken yet another abhorrent axe to environmental protections. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is a spectacular underwater seascape that is both precious and priceless. Preserving its rich biodiversity and pristine marine ecosystem is simply the right thing to do. I will continue to fight for the protection of this aquatic treasure to ensure that exquisite parts of our planet are protected for our children and grandchildren.”
The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument was created in 2016 under the Obama administration and covers 5,000 square miles of offshore land. Blumenthal has long been a leading voice in advocating for the designation of this first-ever Atlantic marine national monument. Prior to the monument’s designation, Blumenthal led the Connecticut Congressional Delegation in urging President Barack Obama to use his authority to preserve and protect this environmental treasure. The delegation’s letter can be found here. In 2017, Blumenthal wrote to the U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross opposing any rollback of protections to the country’s national monuments, specifically the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. That letter can be found here.