July 18, 2017

Statement Regarding the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument Designation

WASHINGTON, DC - The office of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren released the following statement today:

"A recent article published in the Boston Globe suggested that Senator Warren opposed the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument designation when reporting that 'event organizers pointed out Warren's opposition to the monument.'  To correct the record, Senator Warren did not, and does not, oppose the monument designation.

"Healthy oceans are vital for our planet and our coastal communities. Right now, our oceans are facing serious threats associated with global climate change, ocean acidification, and other threats caused by industrial-scale pollution. These problems will only get worse as President Trump and Administrator Pruitt pursue their relentless assault on the environment.

"Recognizing the urgency of the moment to save our ocean ecosystems and planet, Senator Warren joined her Senate colleagues in introducing legislation to permanently ban oil, gas, and mineral extraction and to end the use of seismic airgun blasting, which is extremely harmful to marine wildlife, to search for oil and gas reserves off of the Atlantic coast. And she will continue to fight the Trump Administration's dangerous cuts to EPA and NOAA programs that safeguard our marine and coastal ecosystems.

"Senator Warren also continues to support the Antiquities Act and its use to preserve irreplaceable landscapes and vital ecosystems for future generations. Because she feels strongly about the importance of this issue, she is also committed to a process that allows for full participation by the residents who will be most affected. It is essential that stakeholders be fully involved in the management and protection of our lands and seas. Senator Warren and several of her colleagues in the Massachusetts delegation called upon the last Administration to fully 'engage all regional stakeholders' before designating any marine National Monument off the New England coast. And while 'some accommodations were made for the red crab and lobster industries,' she was disappointed that the 'process ultimately culminated without broad stakeholder consensus.'

"No one recognizes the necessity of safeguarding our oceans more than the fishing families who depend on the oceans for their livelihood. The Massachusetts fishing industry has faced unprecedented challenges in recent years, and the fishermen know all too well that their families depend on realistic, science-based conservation of our marine environments. That is precisely the reason that Congress enacted the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act-to govern marine fisheries management in federal waters. Through this Act, the New England Fishery Management Council uses the best available science and broad stakeholder input to regulate fishing activities to help ensure the long-term environmental and economic sustainability of New England's ocean waters. This is the appropriate process for managing fishing concerns in federal waters.

"While Senator Warren opposes all proposals of offshore drilling in the Atlantic, she believes that we cannot let the irresponsible actions of Big Oil cloud the hard work of New England fishermen who are dependent upon the long-term health and sustainability of the waters they fish."