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US environmental groups sue Trump, saying he can’t open marine monument to fishing by RACHEL OHM June 18,2020   |  Source: Press Herald

Environmental groups in the United States are suing President Trump over a decision to open a national marine monument off the coast of southern New England to commercial fishing, arguing the president’s proclamation violates federal law.

The president announced the decision during a June 5 visit to Maine.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., says that under the U.S. Antiquities Act a president can only create protections for national monuments and does not have the right to remove them – only Congress can.

Because of that, the proclamation Trump signed on his visit to Maine opening up the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument should be declared invalid, the lawsuit says. It was filed by the Conservation Law Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity and R. Zack Klyver, a Bar Harbor naturalist and owner of an ecotourism company.

Trump made the announcement at a roundtable event with members of Maine’s fishing industry in Bangor. It would reverse protections put in place by President Barack Obama when he designated the monument in 2016.

The monument, located about 130 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is the only marine monument in the U.S. Atlantic Ocean.


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