Friday, May 23, 2008

Mariana Trench Marine National Monument

NPR did a story today on an "Unprecedented Conservation Program." One of the areas under consideration for this proposed conservation program is the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument.

The story corrobarates what we've been saying since day one, that the President is looking for Monuments that are non-controversial:
Conservationists say that CEQ officials last year invited a small number of ocean advocates to an unusual, closed-door meeting to discuss the idea. The White House asked them to help identify potential reserves in waters within the United States' "exclusive economic zone," which extends 200 nautical miles out from the mainland and U.S.-owned islands around the world.

The idea, says Sobel, was to highlight areas where President Bush could create "marine monuments" under the Antiquities Act of 1906. This law gives the president broad powers to protect areas of "historic or scientific interest" without congressional approval.

Administration officials said they wanted things they could do before they left office, says Sobel. "They [also] wanted things that they could do without tremendous political blow back … [but] would have a conservation impact."
The story also says that the White House is planning on having public hearings.

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William Aila went home to Oahu this morning. Due to the location of our two islands on opposite sides of the International Date Line, he'll actually arrive home yesterday.

We had dinner at Aqua Resort last night with some friends. I'll post pictures later.

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