Trump Opens Vast Ocean Monument to Commercial Fishing

This week's investigative reporting, analysis and environmental news.
The Revelator
Northeast Canyons expedition

No. 136, June 11, 2020

Hello Revelator readers,

President Trump last week announced he's opening the 4,900-square-mile Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument to commercial fishing. The monument, established by President Obama in 2016, provides critical protection to several endangered species, including North Atlantic right whales and fragile deep-sea corals. Conservation experts explain why this is a bad idea.

This was just one of the many environmental regulations the Trump administration slashed and burned over the past week — while the nation dealt with the pandemic and protested racist violence.

New research reveals a creeping, permanent dryness expanding across the United States. It's much more than "drought," and researchers hope more accurate descriptions — like "megadrought" and "aridification" — will spur critical action.

The European Union just released its updated Biodiversity Strategy for the next 10 years. Our latest op-ed explores why this can help protect us from future pandemics and serve as a model for other nations — but only if it does more to address wildlife trafficking.

Subscriber bonus: The Wild 5

Here are five more stories we're watching this week.  

1. Donald Trump, Jr.'s recent Mongolian hunting expedition, where he killed an endangered argali sheep, cost taxpayers at least $77,000.

2. A new study finds that recent technological advances mean it's economically feasible for the United States to receive 90% of its energy from renewables by 2035.

3. Louisiana's notorious Cancer Alley is now also "Coronavirus Alley."

4. Energy giant BP, desperate to cut expenses as it faces reduced oil demand, announced it will lay off 10,000 workers.

5. Pelicans and other animals were battered by Tropical Storm Cristobal this week, but heroic wildlife rescuers stepped up to help.

In case you missed it:

As marine biologist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson recently wrote in the Washington Post, "racism derails our efforts to save the planet." We interviewed her in 2018, when she discussed how ocean conservation is an environmental justice issue.

What should we cover next?

Our stories rely on insight from experts, frontline activists and readers around the world — especially these days, when so much damage is being done behind the scenes, out of the public eye. We want to hear from you, so please drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

Melting permafrost poses a major threat to the planet. We'll explain why.

Look for our latest links in next Thursday's newsletter — or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the headlines as they go live.

As always, thank you for reading. Stay safe and keep fighting for a better tomorrow.

John Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator


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Photo of coral in Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument courtesy NOAA

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