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/