In early 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order that called for a review of all national monuments created or expanded in the past two decades. This includes a number of important marine monuments.
A leaked memo from Interior Secretary Zinke has recommended downsizing or reducing protections for a number of marine monuments which will ultimately harm sea turtles, whales, sharks and other marine animals. This includes allowing commercial fishing into previously protected areas.
Please add your name to our petition calling on Zinke to release the full report and withdraw his recommendations to downsize or reduce protections.
Dear Secretary of the Interior Zinke,
We are writing to ask you to protect America’s current national marine monuments, and to release to the public your full report to President Trump and withdraw your recommendations to downsize or reduce protections for our national marine monuments.
Specifically I am asking that you not reduce any protections for:
- Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument,
- Marianas Trench Marine National Monument,
- Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument,
- Northeast Canyons & Seamounts Marine National Monument,
- Rose Atoll Marine National Monument in American Samoa.
These monuments combined protect more than 215 million acres and provide a benefit to marine wildlife (such as endangered and threatened sea turtles, whales, and sharks), protect unique coral and geographic features, and provide habitat that allows for the rebuilding of fish stocks.
The following marine monuments are at risk.
- Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean (89.6 million acres). Home to over 7,000 marine species, one quarter of which are found only in the Hawaiian Archipelago. Species protected include the threatened green turtle, the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, and the world's most endangered duck, the Laysan duck.
- Marianas Trench Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean (60.9 million acres). The Marianas Trench is the deepest place on Earth, deeper than the height of Mount Everest.
- Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean (55.6 million acres). Some corals at the monument are up to 5,000 years old. Home to sea turtles, dolphins, whales, pearl oysters, giant clams, coconut crabs, large groupers, sharks, humphead wrasses, and bumphead parrotfishes.
- Northeast Canyons & Seamounts Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean (3.1 million acres). The canyons and seamounts provide habitat for protected species such as endangered sperm, fin, and sei whales and Kemp’s ridley turtles.
- Rose Atoll Marine National Monument in American Samoa (8.6 million acres). Important nesting sites for the threatened green and endangered hawksbill turtles in American Samoa.
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