General Assembly stands up for ocean monuments

PROVIDENCE — Twenty-five members and members-elect of the Rhode Island General Assembly are calling on the president and his cabinet members of Commerce and the Interior to preserve protection of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monuments.

This statement was issued in response to threats made by the current administration to alter boundaries and allow currently prohibited offshore activities like industrial fishing and oil drilling. The monument, which is about 100 miles off the coast of Rhode Island, is home to a vibrant and diverse ecosystem that the monument status protects.

“As a resident of the Ocean State, I love and respect the ocean and all it has to offer to Rhode Islanders today and in the future,” said Rep. Arthur Handy (D-Dist. 18, Cranston). “I want our children and their children to witness firsthand the beauty and abundance that the oceans provide, but without efforts to protect it, like the Marine National Monument designation, I fear that vision is in jeopardy.”

The monument was designated by President Barack Obama in 2016 and remains the only marine national monument in the U.S. Atlantic Ocean.

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