07/19/2018 - Oceans & Offshore Energy - Regulatory Tracker

Marine National Monuments

by EELP Staff

Click here to return to our primary page on monuments and sanctuaries, with the current status and discussion of why this rule matters or click here to return to the page with history and timeline of the Trump rollbacks.

Marianas Trench, Pacific Ocean

Established Jan. 6, 2009. Listed for review under EO 13792 and 13795. Not listed in the final recommendations.

Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, Atlantic Ocean

Established Sep. 15, 2016. Listed for review under EO 13792 and 13795.

March 2017 coalition of fishing groups files a lawsuit in the D.C. District Court over the monument designation, calling it unlawful under the Antiquities Act, and seeks an injunction to preclude enforcement of the fishing ban. The lawsuit is stayed after the April 2017 Executive Orders on monuments and energy development are issued. Mass. Lobstermen’s Association v. Ross, No. 17-406 (D.D.C.).

Aug. 24, 2017 Interior Secretary Zinke proposes opening Northeast Canyons and Seamounts to commercial fishing.

March 15, 2018 The D.C. District lifts the stay on the fishing lawsuit, as requested by the plaintiffs, and agreed to by federal attorneys.

April 16, 2018 The Department of Justice moves to dismiss the fishing groups’ lawsuit, saying “Congress has granted the President broad discretion to designate a monument on lands owned or controlled by the federal government, and such decision-making is not generally subject to judicial review.”

June 2018 It is reported that NOAA is considering opening this marine national monuments to commercial fishing as early as September.

Oct. 5, 2018 The D.C. District Court holds that President Obama did possess the proper authority under the Antiquities Act to establish Canyons and Seamounts Monument in 2016. In response to the question of whether the marine monuments qualified for the sort of protections created by President Obama, the court held that “The Antiquities Act reaches lands both dry and wet.” Mass. Lobstermen’s Association v. Ross, No. 17-406 (D.D.C.).

Oct. 22, 2019 The D.C. Circuit hears oral argument in the case challenging President Obama’s designation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. A coalition of fishing interests led by the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association  filed the appeal with the D.C. Circuit on Dec. 7, 2018. Mass. Lobstermen’s Association v. Wilbur Ross, Docket No.18-05353.

Dec. 27, 2019 The D.C. Circuit dismisses the fishing coalition’s challenge in Mass. Lobstermen’s Association v. Wilbur Ross, affirming the district court and upholding the creation of the Canyons and Seamounts Monument. Docket No.18-05353.

June 5, 2020 President Trump signs a proclamation allowing commercial fishing in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.

June 17, 2020 Environmental groups file a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s reversal of the commercial fishing ban in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. Conservation law Foundation, Docket No. 20-cv-1589 (D.D.C.)

Pacific Remote Islands, Pacific Ocean

Established Jan. 6, 2009. Listed for review under EO 13792 and 13795.

Aug. 24, 2017 Interior Secretary Zinke proposes scaling back Pacific Remote Islands and opening the monument to commercial fishing.

June 2018 It is reported that NOAA is considering opening this marine national monuments to commercial fishing as early as September.

May 8, 2020 The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council sends a letter to President Trump requesting that he lift the commercial fishing restrictions in the Pacific marine national monuments. The letter is in response to Trump’s May Executive Order on Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth.

Papahānaumokukea, Pacific Ocean

Established June 15, 2006. Listed for review under EO 13792 and 13795. Not listed in the final recommendations.

Rose Atoll, Pacific Ocean

Established June 6, 2009. Listed for review under EO 13792 and 13795.

Aug. 24, 2017 Interior Secretary Zinke proposes scaling back Rose Atoll, and opening it to commercial fishing.

June 2018 It is reported that NOAA is considering opening this marine national monuments to commercial fishing as early as September.