Friday, July 7, 2017

Ocean Under Siege: New Attacks

In addition to the above threats from ocean blasting and drilling, the Trump Administration continues to bombard the oceans with the America-First Offshore Energy Strategy.  On June 26, 2017, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that they will be conducting a review of all Marine Sanctuaries and Monuments designated or expanded since April 28, 2007. The Secretary of Commerce will then use this review to prepare a report in accordance with Trump’s Executive Order to provide an “analysis” of the lost “opportunity costs” of potential energy and mineral exploration resulting from designations of Marine Sanctuaries or Marine Monuments. This “lost opportunity” analysis paired with the current America-First Offshore Energy places even more ocean areas at grave risk for destruction.

This specific notice opens the comment period, which ends on July 27, 2017,  for 11 Marine Sanctuaries and Monuments, including the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument, which are located immediately off the NY/NJ coast. The other areas included are the Channel Islands, Cordell Bank, Greater Farallones, Marianas Trench, Monterey Bay, American Samoa, Pacific Remote Islands, Papaha ̄naumokua ̄kea, Rose Atoll Marine, and Thunder Bay. The damage does not stop there, this one notice is part of greater efforts that could lead to the reduction of more than two dozen monuments and sanctuaries designated and expanded within the past 10 years.

Organizations and citizens have from June 26 to July 27 to voice their opposition by mail or electronic submission. To view the official notice and submit your comment visit the Federal Register and search “Review of National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments Designated or Expanded Since April 28, 2007; Notice of Opportunity for Public Comment.” For more information or guidance on how to access the notice and comment feel free to contact

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