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Author: TriSec    Date: 10/09/2021 11:48:18

Good morning.

We're off to the wilds of Providence in a bit - it's parent's weekend at ol' JWU. We'll wander around campus today, look at the training kitchens, sample some student projects, and spend a bunch of money on swag at the bookstore.

The campus is on a spit of land in Narragansett Bay called "Field's Point". It's a curious mix of heavy industry, oil tanks, windmills, and a lovely seashore college campus in the middle of it all.

But it's that bay that's got me thinking today. President Biden has restored some environmental protections that the Thrombosed Hemorrhoid rolled back.

President Biden on Friday signed a proclamation that reinstated a ban on commercial fishing in nearly 5,000 square miles of federally protected waters southeast of Cape Cod, reversing an effort by the Trump administration to reduce protections in the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean.

The proclamation, which was hailed by environmental advocates and criticized by fishing groups, restores protections established by Barack Obama, who in 2016 created the controversial Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument to protect three underwater canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon, four underwater mountains, and a range of unique coral, rare fish, endangered marine mammals, and sea turtles.

Before signing the order outside the White House, Biden called the marine monument’s biodiversity “key to understanding life under the sea.”

“There’s nothing like it in the world,” he said.

In a statement, Biden administration officials said “restoring the monument’s conditions will restore its integrity, expand the opportunity for unique scientific study and exploration, and protect and preserve natural and cultural resources for all Americans.”

While most commercial fishing is banned immediately, crab and lobster fishing will be allowed until Sept. 2023. Recreational fishing is allowed.

For environmental groups that had pushed for years to protect an estimated 54 species of deep-sea coral and hundreds of marine species, including endangered North Atlantic right whales, Biden’s decision was gratifying.

“President Biden’s announcement is a welcome relief after Trump threw science out the window and slashed protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts,” said Peter Shelley, senior counsel at the Boston-based Conservation Law Foundation. “Restoring these commonsense safeguards will have an immeasurable impact on species that call the monument home and will result in a healthier ocean overall. With our oceans in peril from human impacts and the climate crisis, it’s time to protect more areas, not less.”

It's a good thing, to quote a phrase.

Most of us here are from coastal communities. Boston in particular has had a long link to the sea and the fishing industry. I grew up along the North Atlantic - literally. I spent most of my life within walking distance of a tidal estuary or salt marsh, at least until I married Mrs. TriSec and moved "inland".

Having that salt in my blood grounds me. As I always say, "any day I work by the ocean is a good day."

But what does it mean for the rest of America? Maybe a few pennies or even dollars more for than fancy flown-in seafood from Gloucester. (Gorton's in your supermarket freezer won't be affected, except by profiteering or price-gouging, trust me on this.)

What it will do is preserve a small stretch of ocean for future generations of both ichthyoids and primates.

I think I'd rather see this.


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