Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
By: Emily Persico
Despite, 74 percent of U.S. adults saying that we should do whatever it takes to protect the environment, Trump’s attempts to dismantle federal and state environmental protections continue their rage against the current. His ambitious proposed budget cuts to the EPA and NOAA were largely denied by Congress, cementing a decent budget for environmental programs until the end of September, after which the battle of the budget will renew.
In the meantime, Trump has found other ways to undercut environmental protection, beginning with the reversal of proposed limits on Pacific fisheries.
“Under the proposed regulations, caps would have been established for five marine mammal species and four sea turtle species,” explained the National Marine Fisheries Service. “When any of the caps were reached, the fishery would have been closed for the rest of the fishing season and possibly through the following season.”
Instead, offending drifting gill net fisheries will be able to continue pillaging endangered marine species, which include fin, sperm and humpback whales and leatherback, loggerhead, olive ridley and green sea turtles.
These limits, proposed by the Obama administration last year, had widespread support from environmental groups and the fishery industry alike.
“We recognized that the fishery has done a lot to clean up its act,” said Michael Milstein of NOAA.
Still, more needs to be done to protect these endangered marine species, whose sensitive populations cannot withstand the slightest of offenses after generations of abuse.
“The Trump administration has declared war on whales, dolphins and turtles off the coast of California,” said Todd Steiner of nonprofit Turtle Island Restoration Network.
And this is just the beginning. Trump has ordered a sweeping review of our national monuments, threatening critical marine habitats including the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument, the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, and the Northeast Canyons & Seamounts Marine National Monument. Earlier this week, the man responsible for the review, Interior Secretary Zinke, recommended the shrinkage of Bear Ears, a national monument in Utah.
Learn more about the proposed limits that Trump undermined here.