HARTFORD -- Connecticut’s Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, along with 17 other U.S. senators, wrote a letter to the Trump administration, pushing back against the government’s recent decision to weaken protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The area, located 150 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, is home to a rich diversity of marine life, including whales, dolphins and deep sea coral. By reopening the monument to commercial fishing, this delicate ecosystem will be put at increased risk.
Chris Phelps, state director of Environment Connecticut, released the following statement:
“The decision to weaken protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is wrongheaded and threatens marine life off Connecticut’s coast. The centuries-old coral and the endangered whales, dolphins and other ocean life protected by this monument are fragile and irreplaceable. To allow commercial fishing in this vital habitat puts so many remarkable species at further risk.
“By standing up for New England’s only marine monument, Senators Blumenthal and Murphy are standing up for Connecticut’s natural heritage and ocean ecosystems. We must safeguard our oceans and marine life -- not only for the good of the planet right now, but also so that future generations can marvel at the amazing animals that swim off our coast. We hope the Trump administration heeds the advice of Connecticut’s two senators, and others in the legislative branch, and restores protections for the Canyons and Seamounts.”