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Statement on the Restoration of Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Monument Protections

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Washington, D.C. – The following statement was issued by Janis Searles Jones, CEO of Ocean Conservancy, in response to the Biden Administration’s decision to restore environmental protections to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, Bears Ears, and Grand Staircase-Escalante:

“President Biden’s decision to restore essential protections to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, in addition to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, is a critical step in the effort to conserve our shared natural resources. Former President Trump’s rollback of these protections was unprecedented and illegal.

“As the only national monument off the Atlantic coast, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts represents only 1.5 percent of the U.S. Atlantic Ocean. However, as one of our nation’s most special ocean places, this monument offers a wealth of opportunity for scientific exploration and discovery, tourism and recreation, and provides critical habitat for marine life. It is imperative that we protect this astounding underwater ecosystem—especially in the face of global climate change.

“Support for national monuments is bipartisan and overwhelming. Studies have shown that 90% of voters support Presidential proposals to protect some public lands and waters as parks, wildlife refuges and wilderness. Presidents of both parties have acted to protect our nation’s special places. Republican President George W. Bush established several national monuments while in office, including the Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll marine national monuments. He said that the benefits of the national monuments reach “far beyond nature,” citing the many cultural, navigation, military, and economic interests tied to ensuring the protection of these areas.” President Barack Obama followed suit and designated two marine national monuments, including the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts monument in 2016.

“I applaud the Biden Administration for restoring protections to our first and only marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean. Actions like these rightfully demonstrate our nation’s commitment to protecting special lands and waters.”

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Ocean Conservancy experts are available for comment upon request.

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit http://www.oceanconservancy.org, or follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

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