January 02, 2018

On the heels of downsizing many protected lands, Trump is looking to do the same for the protected blue spaces in the ocean. Allowing these protected marine areas to be open to commercial fishing and other money making endeavors could be devastating to the fragile balance in our oceans. Several organizations that work to maintain protected lands and marine environments are alarmed at these new developments. What can we do to help protect these spaces that we cherish?

Trump Plan to Shrink Ocean Monuments Threatens Vital Ecosystems, Experts Warn

The Trump administration’s plan to shrink four land-based national monuments has provoked howls of anguish from environmental groups, Native American tribes and some businesses, such as the outdoors company Patagonia.

Accompanying changes to protected monuments in the oceans – vastly larger areas than their land-based counterparts – have received less attention, but could have major consequences for the livelihoods and ecosystems dependent upon the marine environment.

Ryan Zinke, the secretary of the interior, has recommended to Donald Trump that three sprawling marine monuments, one in the Atlantic and two in the Pacific, be either opened up to the commercial fishing industry or reduced in size, or both.

“These ‘blue parks’ harbor unique species, a wealth of biodiversity and special habitats,” said Jane Lubchenco, the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration between 2009 and 2013.

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