Tag Archives: President Barack Obama

Is the ocean ‘land owned or controlled’ by feds? Antiquities Act lawsuit aims to find out

Despite a lifetime of fishing off the New England coast, Eric Reid was like a fish out of water when President Barack Obama grabbed a piece of his livelihood. “I’m just a fish guy but I learned a lot about politics in a big hurry,” said Reid, general manager of Seafreeze Shoreside Inc., a seafood processing facility in Rhode Island. He is referring to Obama’s September 2016 designation of nearly 5,000 square miles of ocean as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument, using his unilateral authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906.,,, We’re losing opportunity as we speak,” Reid told Watchdog.org. “It could easily be millions of dollars just this winter.” Reid is part of a coalition of New England fishing organizations suing the federal government over the designation. The Pacific Legal Foundation is representing the coalition in Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association v. Ross. PLF attorney Jonathan Wood says the economic impact is magnified when considering the shoreside businesses that have grown up around the commercial fishing industry. “It’s not just the fishermen. It’s all the bait dealers, the mechanics and the marinas and all the businesses that only exist because there’s a commercial fishing industry,” he told Watchdog.org. read the article here 09:37

New England fishermen challenge Obama’s Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument designation

A coalition of New England fishermen organizations filed suit today over former President Barack Obama’s designation of a vast area of ocean as a national monument — a dictate that could sink commercial fishing in New England. The organizations filing the lawsuit are the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen’s Association, Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, Rhode Island Fisherman’s Alliance, and Garden State Seafood Association. They are represented, free of charge, by Pacific Legal Foundation, a watchdog organization that litigates nationwide for limited government, property rights, and a balanced approach to environmental regulations. The lawsuit challenges President Obama’s September 15, 2016, creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, 130 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. continue reading the story here 14:28

South Atlantic Offshore drilling fight is still on

Despite a major victory in November, the fight against drilling for oil off South Carolina’s coast isn’t over yet. President Barack Obama used his executive power Tuesday to invoke a rarely used 1953 law to ban oil exploration indefinitely from parts of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, but South Carolina’s offshore waters inexplicably weren’t included. President Obama cited a number of deep offshore canyons, wellsprings of marine life, as reasons for moving to permanently protect offshore waters from the Chesapeake Bay northward. But similar, ecologically important structures also exist off our coast, such as the “Charleston Bump.” The bottom feature, 80-100 miles offshore, acts as a speed bump in the Gulf Stream and is believed to be important to about 35 fish species. For example, it is the only known spawning ground in U.S. waters where wreckfish occur in numbers large enough to support a fishery. Read the story here 08:41

Fishermen hope Trump will end Atlantic Ocean’s first marine national monument

donald-trumpNew England fishermen who opposed President Barack Obama’s creation of the Atlantic Ocean’s first marine national monument are now hopeful President-elect Donald Trump will abolish it, shrink it or allow some fishing inside it. Environmentalists view the monument as a way to sustain important species, as well as research and reduce the toll of climate change. “We take the monument very seriously and any threats to it are threats, I think, against the national interest,” said Peter Shelley, senior counsel at the Conservation Law Foundation. “We would take appropriate action if and when anything happened, including making a compelling scientific case to the president for the monument.” It’s unclear whether Trump could unilaterally undo a marine monument designation. It hasn’t been done before. There’s precedent, however, to modify a monument. Obama quadrupled the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii, also in August, to create the world’s largest oceanic preserve at nearly 600,000 square miles. Read the story here 15:45

Cuomo: New York will take legal action to block EPA L.I. Sound dredge dumping rule

2016_0804_cuomo-530x330New York State will take legal action against the United States Environmental Protection Agency to prevent the designation of new permanent open water disposal sites off the coast of eastern Long Island, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today at a press conference at Sunken Meadow State Park. The governor today released a letter signed by more than 30 federal, state and local elected officials, providing notice to President Barack Obama and EPA officials that the state will take necessary steps to block the EPA from issuing a rule allowing dredged materials from Connecticut to be dumped in the eastern region of the Long Island Sound. “The Long Island Sound is one of New York’s greatest natural treasures and a vital component of Long Island’s tourism industry,” Cuomo said. New York has spent “billions and billions of dollars” to clean up and protect the Sound, Cuomo said. (So. Lets just fill it up with wind farms!) Read the rest here 09:49

Aquarium scientist helps lead effort to designate Marine National Monument

Mystic Aquarium Senior Research Scientist Peter AusterAn effort being led in part by Mystic Aquarium Senior Research Scientist Peter Auster is working to get President Barack Obama to designate a 4,000-square-nautical-mile area of ocean off Cape Cod as a Marine National Monument, which would be the first in the Atlantic Ocean. Located 150 miles southeast of Cape Cod, it is also a place that Auster said companies are beginning to show interest in mining the seamounts for precious metals. Designation of the area as a national monument would prevent “commercial extraction activities” such as mining, oil and gas drilling, as well as commercial fishing. Activities such as recreational angling, whale watching and boating would be permitted. Working with environmental groups, they are working to get the designation request to Obama to sign before he leaves office. Read the rest here 10:28

“The Plan” – Mid-Atlantic states draft regional plan for improving coastal waters

l_20160708-regional-ocean-waters-1200With the ocean facing significant challenges in the near future, Mid-Atlantic states, federal agencies, and others have banded together to draft a plan to promote more regional planning and coordination in managing the resource. While the new coalition has no regulatory authority, President Barack Obama has directed federal agencies to incorporate regional plans like the Mid-Atlantic’s into the policies they develop, according to , who endorsed the effort. “If we want to protect the things we value, we have to change the rules of the game,’’ Dillingham said. “There are clearly increasing demands for use of the ocean. Some are potentially harmful to marine life and the environment. All of them need to be managed.’’ What a bunch of crap! Read the rest here 09:55

Fishers balk at proposal to designate Pacific Ocean national monuments

AR-160709615.jpg&maxh=400&maxw=667West Coast fishers, including those that supply Los Angeles and Long Beach with local seafood, are incensed at a “secret” proposal from environmentalists asking President Barack Obama to create new national monuments in the Pacific Ocean. Dozens of California fishing businesses and their representatives signed a letter this week asking Obama to ignore suggestions to block fishing in open-ocean areas rich with sea life by designating them as offshore marine monuments. Environmental groups made the proposal in a “secret effort” to lobby the president to declare that many Pacific Ocean seamounts, ridges and banks are national landmarks, according to the letter. The five-page environmental proposal, “The Case for Protecting California’s Seamounts, Ridges and Banks,” argues that these parts of the ocean should be preserved for scientific research. Seamounts and ridges are craggy underwater mountains, and banks are shallow areas near deep ocean drop-offs. “If this proposed action is taken, many local harvesters will be impacted. Loss of access to their fishing grounds, without a public process, will likely cause irreparable harm to the San Pedro fishing community and the consumers they serve.” Read the rest here 08:07

Group calls on President Obama to dramatically expand NW Islands Marine Monument

A group of roughly 20 Native Hawaiians, local fishermen, scientists and conservationists rallied Thursday morning at Kewalo Marine Laboratory, armed with a 43,000-signature (Pew) petition urging President Barack Obama to expand federal protections around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.President George W. Bush established Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in 2006 as, at the time, the largest fully protected marine reserve on the planet. Its protections, which include prohibitions against commercial fishing, extend 50 miles outside the island chain. The group wants Obama to expand the monument to the maximum limit that federal jurisdiction allows — 200 miles out, with certain exceptions. That would make it nine times its current size of 139,797 square miles, and bigger than all the country’s national parks combined. Read the rest here 11:04

Hawaiian leaders urge President Barack Obama to expand marine conservation area

fisherman-obamaA group of Native Hawaiian leaders have urged President Barack Obama to expand what’s already one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world. But the president of the Hawaii Longline Association said Friday the lobbying effort is using Hawaiian culture as an excuse to close off more waters to fishermen. Papahanaumokuakea (pah-pah-HAH-now-moh-cuh-ah-cay-ah) Marine National Monument is a 140,000-square-mile area of the Pacific where remote islands, atolls, islets and coral reefs serve as habitat for some of the world’s most endangered species. The region is also a sacred place in the history, culture and cosmology of Native Hawaiians. Read the rest here 09:47

Not Counting Fish – MARCO report woefully lacking info from recreational fishermen

MARCO stands for Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean, and it was created to provide information on all the various uses as well as all the animal and mineral concentrations in the ocean off the Mid-Atlantic coast. Similar councils have been formed to investigate the same things all along the coast of the United States. President Barack Obama issued an executive order asking for this information so future ocean planners can make informed decisions before issuing permits to build windmill farms, or perform ocean mining or oil and gas exploration. These councils are the result of that order. Read the rest here 08:36

Funds sought to meet commercial fishing safety training requirements

In a letter sent last week, Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker and all 11 members of the state’s Washington delegation asked to include funding for the Fishing Safety Training Grants Program and Fishing Safety Research Grant Program in his fiscal 2017 budget. Congress increased the number of commercial fishing vessels whose crews are subject to new safety and survival training programs, but has not funded the grant programs put in place to help the fishing community pay for the training. Read the article here 16:35

US, Chile to announce new marine sanctuaries at “Our Ocean” conference

No FishingPresident Barack Obama will declare new marine sanctuaries in the tidal waters of Maryland and Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan Monday, while Chile is expected to block off a more than 200,000 square miles of sea from commercial fishing and oil and gas exploration in an area of the Pacific Ocean near the world-famous Easter Island. The announcements were to be made when top officials, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, attend an international conference on marine protection in the Chilean port city of Valparaiso on Monday. The “Our Ocean” conference,,, Read the rest here 08:36

Animal Rights Groups Implore Obama To Impose Trade Sanctions On Iceland

eat more whaleA coalition of 20 animal rights and environmentalist groups have called on US President Barack Obama to impose sanctions on Iceland over whaling. In the letter in question, the undersigned point out the recent shipment of endangered fin whale meat from Iceland, most likely on its way to Japan. While Obama has made direct statements about Iceland’s whaling practices, warning that he believes the issue should “receive the highest level of attention”, the undersigned believe the US president needs to now take further action. Read the rest here 17:48

Russia furthers Arctic dreams while America sleeps

John Kerry MunsterMurkowski’s starting point in her presentation was that the United States should have prepared for assuming the chairmanship of the Arctic Council but did not. The United States took over the two-year position from Canada last Friday. Obama and, I imagine, his predecessors would never admit any such failure. Why, last Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry, the Arctic Council’s new chairman, stated the president’s Arctic policy. It is coping with climate change, period. Read the rest here 13:35

Thai police find graves of suspected trafficking victims

Last June, the United States put Thailand in its lowest category — “Tier 3” — in its annual assessment of how governments around the world have performed in fighting human trafficking. The ranking took into account the smuggling of Myanmar’s long-persecuted Rohingya community, as well as cases of migrants from neighboring countries who are forced or defrauded into working against their will in the sex industry, commercial fishing, garment production, factories and domestic work. President Barack Obama waived invoking action,,, Read the rest here 16:29

Ron Littlepage: Thanks to Obama, our coast is in danger

Obama BPWith the blessing of President Barack Obama, plans are proceeding to allow seismic airgun testing in the Atlantic off of Florida’s coast in the search for oil and gas. For those concerned about the environment, there was some good news last month when the federal government released its five-year plan for offshore drilling leases in the Atlantic and didn’t include Florida. With the memory of the devastating impact of the BP disaster on Florida’s Gulf Coast still fresh, that provided some relief. Read the rest here 19:51

Obama Extends (Scaled Back) Hawaii National Marine Monument – Kitty Simonds,“U.S. fishermen should be able to fish in U.S. zones,”

No FishingThe White House announced late Wednesday that President Barack Obama would prohibit fishing in three of America’s remote island territories in the Pacific by declaring them marine national monuments. In June, Obama had proposed closing five areas, which would have doubled the no-take zone. Read the rest here 07:54

Suffolk Closeup: Drill, baby … spill? – using the precise words of the oil industry — an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy.

Obama BPDespite the 2010 offshore oil drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, despite the U.S. suddenly becoming the top oil producer in the world and despite decades of opposition, President Barack Obama is moving to open up the offshore Atlantic to oil and gas drilling. Read more here  12:12

White House addresses ocean issues

23523_354387901211_7651997_aYesterday, President Barack Obama announced several ocean-related initiatives. According to a White House fact sheet, the administration’s National Ocean Policy Initiatives include an effort to address pirate fishing, a white paper on ocean acidification, and an aquaculture research plan. Read more here  20:01

President Barack Obama targets Iceland’s sustainable commercial whaling and trade in fin whale meat

baby fishermanTHE United States and Iceland are heading  for serious dispute after President Barack Obama  announced a series  of measures against Iceland over its policy to continue hunting whales. But the measures  appear to stop of short of banning Icelandic fish or seafood products which a number of environmental groups have been demanding. Read more here 12:21

President Barack Obama and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick are working together to push Cape Wind forward for political advantage.

stoogefisherman-obamaFor example, a May 3, 2010, FAA PowerPoint presentation to Eastern Service Area Directors includes a slide titled “Political Implications” which states: “The Secretary of the Interior has approved this project. The Administration is under pressure to promote green energy production. It would be very difficult politically to refuse approval of this project.” [email protected]

BP settlement could remove local control – negotiations are secret

Because the negotiations are secret, it’s hard for anyone to know how serious or legitimate the suggestions are that the settlement might favor the Natural Resources Damage Assessment. “This was the single largest act of pollution we’ve seen in our country, and those responsible should pay for it,” Moore said. “Eleven people died, and record oil washed up on the shores of the Gulf Coast. If that’s not gross negligence, I don’t know what is.”


How ’bout this?         Lubchenco’s/NOAA’s role in the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2010-2015

In her September 21, 2009 twenty-six page response to Lisa Birnbaum, Director of the Mineral Management Service on the Draft Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2010-2015. Ms. Lubchenco precedes her comments with a rundown of the federal laws that give her and NOAA specific responsibility in the areas covered by the draft proposal. These are “the Coastal Zone Management Act, the National Maine Sanctuaries Act, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, and the Coral Reef Conservation Act as well as NOAA’s statutory roles under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the Ocean and Coastal Mapping Integration Act, and the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act.”

Ms. Lubchenco then brings up a series of issues that were not adequately or accurately addressed in the proposal. Clearly she and NOAA had the ability, the foreknowledge and the duty to intercede in those issues. But did they? Anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil still spewing into the Gulf of Mexico -we still don’t know how much – every day attest to how effective that intercession was.http://www.fishnet-usa.com/NOAA_Inaction.htm