Last Friday, June 16, Secretary of the Interior Zinke was visiting Boston as part of his review of 2 dozen national monuments, including the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument 150 miles off Cape Cod. The environmental community joined together to stand in defense of our national monuments outside the State House.
BOSTON – On the eve of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s visit to Massachusetts, the Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund (ELM) has launched a grassroots campaign to preserve vulnerable national monuments from a Trump administration protections rollback, engaging people in their communities, in the halls of power, and online in an orchestrated campaign.
Joining with the national League of Conservation Voters (LCV), the campaign will draw attention to the first-ever protected marine monument in the Atlantic, Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine Monument off the coast of Cape Cod and waters in Maine.
The Trump administration ordered a review of national monuments - the first step in a choreographed attack on iconic public lands and waters that are critical to the nation’s economy and way of life. These efforts attempt to roll back President Obama’s declaration of marine monuments like the Seamounts, which was designed to protect and preserve these landmarks. Secretary Zinke will be in Boston tomorrow to discuss the marine monument with local fishing stakeholders and others.
Trump’s review affects over two dozen parks across the country, and also leaves other public lands vulnerable to attack.
“It is essential to protect these areas in order to maintain healthy New England ecosystems and preserve the lands for future generations,” said Joe O’Brien, Political Director of the ELM Action Fund.
The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine Monument lies just 150 miles off the coast of Cape Cod and was designated by President Obama in September 2016. It consists of extinct volcanoes and canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon. The underwater treasure is home to deep-water corals, anemones and sponges, as well as Kemp’s ridley sea turtles and sperm, fin and sei whales.
“Our oceans are in danger and the direct impacts of climate change, overfishing and the proposed extraction of oil, gas and other resources threaten their health,” said O’Brien. “The Gulf of Maine, where this treasured monument is located, is warming at a rate faster than almost any other marine area in the world.”
The ELM effort joins with its national partner, LCV, in its national campaign to protect more than two dozen national monuments across the country designated since January 1996.
ELM Action Fund has organized a campaign to join with the LCV and collaborate with legislative and congressional voices to push the President at all levels.
The campaign will kick off with organizers and coordinators hitting the streets in communities – at local meetings, farmer’s markets and more – to encourage citizens to get active and engaged. The effort will be joined with a unique digital and social media campaign to engage the grassroots where they are: online.
Throughout the campaign, the ELM Action Fund will make calls to environmental supporters across the Commonwealth, run ads on Twitter and Facebook, and attend events across the state to garner more comments and volunteers.
To learn more about the campaign, please visit: http://www.elmaction.org/save-our-national-monuments/
The Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund today made an unusual endorsement in a municipal election supporting Tom McGee for Mayor of the city of Lynn. The endorsement was due to McGee’s leadership building a renewable energy industry, and the jobs that go with it, and his commitment to a modern transportation system that’s affordable and dependable.
“Tom McGee knows how to create jobs for the 21st century,” stated ELM President George Bachrach. “In Lynn and in cities across the state we need to build a clean energy industry including wind turbines and solar arrays that will power us into the future. Tom McGee also knows that we need a 21st century transit system that will get us to and from our jobs. He is prepared to invest in this critical infrastructure that will create jobs now and build a new economy for the future.”
“While we rarely endorse candidates for local office, we will do so increasingly. We want legislative leaders who support clean energy and a modernized transportation system to know we’ve got their backs, whether they’re running for re-election or for municipal or other offices. The ELM Action Fund is proud to endorse Senator McGee for Mayor because of his strong commitment to addressing these issues in Lynn and across the Commonwealth,” said Joe O’Brien, ELM Action Fund Political Director. “In his work as a State Senator he has led state efforts to invest in clean energy, sustainable transportation and parks to help address climate change, create jobs, and build healthier communities."
McGee is a lifelong Lynn resident and is currently a member of the State Senate representing the Third Essex District, which includes all of Lynn and several surrounding communities. McGee has served in the State Senate since 2002 and is co-chair of the Legislature's Transportation Committee. He also recently served a three-year term as the Democratic State Committee chairman. For more information about his campaign you can visit his website at www.mcgeeforlynn.com.
The ELM Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization that helps pass laws that protect our environmental legacy, holds our elected officials accountable, and works to build the political power of the environmental community. To learn more about our work and our recent electoral victories go to www.elmaction.org/campaigns.
Over 100 organizations and businesses endorsed the Green Budget FY18, the largest coalition to date that has formed in Massachusetts to speak out about the importance of funding environmental agencies. Led by the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM), the Green Budget challenges Governor Baker to honor his campaign commitment to increase spending on environmental protection to 1% of the state budget by the end of his first term. The Governor’s first three budgets have added to the decline in state spending on environmental agencies, now at 0.5%. The budget process moves to the House and Senate.
Erica Mattison, ELM Legislative Director and principal author of the report, noted, “The parks, rivers, and coastline of Massachusetts are at risk if we keep cutting the budgets of the Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Conservation and Recreation (DCR).”
Tedd Saunders of the Saunders Hotel Group, a member of ELM’s Corporate Council and the Green Budget Coalition, made clear there is a very real connection between a healthy economy and a healthy environment. “Tourism is a $20 billion industry in Massachusetts. Clean energy has yielded over 100,000 new jobs in the Commonwealth, the fastest growing segment of our economy. And if we really want to help Gateway Cities, we need to clean up contaminated sites to allow for redevelopment.”
Groundwork Lawrence Community Engagement Director Rose Gonzalez and Almely Ramos, a Green Team Leader with Groundwork Lawrence and senior at Greater Lawrence Technical School, underscored the importance of having clean, well-maintained state parks and rivers available as outdoor recreation opportunities for urban residents.“Not everyone can afford to jet off to exotic destinations for vacation, and they depend on having affordable places close to home where they can enjoy the outdoors,” said Mattison.https://www.environmentalleague.org/our-work/publications/
If you are interested in reading the latest green budget, click here to visit the ELM website!
This week over 20 Massachusetts groups, including ELM, signed on to a letter to Senator Markey expressing opposition to the appointment of Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
As President-elect Trump slouches towards the White House, he is assembling a fossil fuels fixated transition team that will set the federal government barreling down the tracks in the wrong direction.
Here are some of the key players:
The Environmental Protection Agency transition team is being led by Myron Ebell, a well noted climate denier. Mr. Ebell served as the Director, Center for Energy and the Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. CEI questions global warming “alarmism”, opposes “energy-rationing” policies, including the Kyoto Protocol, cap-and-trade legislation, and EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Department of Energy transition team is now being headed by Thomas Pyle, the former Director of Federal Affairs for Koch Industries and currently the President of the American Energy Alliance. This alliance has pushed hard against the development of renewable resources in favor of traditional heavily polluting fossil fuels.
Doug Domenech is currently heading up the transition team at the Department of the Interior. Domenech is the director of the Fueling Freedom Project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The project's stated mission is to "explain the forgotten moral case for fossil fuels." Mr. Domenech recently wrote that “...Americans just rejected the “keep it in the ground” extremism espoused by those whose only operating focus is their view that CO2 is a pollutant and climate change is real.”
If the federal government continues in Trump's direction we'll be at odds with nearly every other nation on this planet (the signatories of the Paris Agreement). Now is the time for bold state action. We work with policymakers, business leaders, and concerned citizens every day to help combat the very real threat of climate change. Not only that but, we are committed to holding our elected officials accountable for their action on environmental issues.
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