Elimination of Marine National Monuments

by Jim HInes

Greetings National Monument Team:

The senior staff of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has told me that the Secretary feels very strongly that the 1908 Antiquities Act does NOT protect waters. It was only intended to protect land and therefore using the Antiquities Act to designate marine national monuments is an unlawful use of this Act.

For this reason, the staff says the Secretary will very likely move to eliminate the 5 marine national monuments which are under review, along with a number of land NMs on or before August 24th.

Note: This same view is held by Congressman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources. Bishop and several other committee members stated this view in a hearing held on federal ocean protection last month. They do not believe in any federal protections, and will do everything possible in Congress to remove protections on federal ocean waters.

The marine national monument issue is separate from the national marine sanctuaries under review by the Dept. of Commerce. Public comment on this closes on August 15th. You may comment using the link below:


Jim HinesJim Hines is a Team Member on the Sierra Club Protect Wild Utah Team.