Take action for the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross

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President Trump recently signed an executive order that he hopes will open the door to eliminating or shrinking the nation’s marine national monuments—and open them up to destructive activities like mining, offshore drilling, and trawling.

The Marianas Trench was designated as a marine national monument in 2009 by President George W. Bush. It is a spectacular part of the Ring of Fire that encircles most of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing three units: islands, trench, and volcanoes.

Join us and tell the Trump administration that Americans want special places in the ocean to remain protected—for good.

The Department of Commerce is allowing the public to weigh in to save our oceans for just a few short weeks—through August 15.

PERSONALIZED COMMENTS ARE CRITICAL IN THIS PROCESS. If you live in the Pacific states of Hawai’i, California, Oregon, or Washington, please mention this in the comments section to the right.

If you have more than a few minutes, please consider submitting a comment for the other national marine monuments threatened by Trump’s executive order:

Speak up for Hawai’i’s Papahanaumokuakea

Protect the Pacific Remote Islands

Safeguard American Samoa’s Rose Atoll

If you only have a couple of minutes, no problem. Every comment counts! Just submit the letter below.

Sponsored by
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San Francisco, CA

To: Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
From: [Your Name]

I strongly support the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument as it was designated. Please do not modify its boundaries, management, or allowed uses.

The monument was created citing adequate scientific, cultural, and historic rationale, as required by the Antiquities Act. In addition, it underwent a robust public process.

The Trench is the deepest place on Earth, deeper than the height of Mount Everest above sea level. It is five times longer than the Grand Canyon and includes some 50,532,102 acres that are virtually unknown to humans.

An arc of undersea mud volcanoes and thermal vents supports unusual life forms, many yet to be discovered, in some of the harshest conditions imaginable. The islands’ reefs and waters are among the most biologically diverse and include the greatest diversity of seamount and hydrothermal vent life yet discovered.

It also contains one of the most diverse collections of stony corals in the Western Pacific, including more than 300 species, more than any other U.S. reef area. One site has the highest density of sharks anywhere in the Pacific and the rare bumphead parrotfish thrives in these waters. The species has been depleted throughout much of its range and is included on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Although not required for monuments designated under the Antiquities Act, the Pacific Remote Islands Monument underwent extensive public consultation processes. In 2008, the year before the monument was declared, over 100 public meetings were held on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota, and more than 6,000 petition signatures were collected. Letters to the editor and to federal officials were also written.

Generally speaking, monuments benefit economies by improving fish stocks, which are able to grow and mature within these no-fishing zones and then move outside the area where they can be caught.

I strongly recommend the protections for the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument remain in place, permanently, to preserve our country’s natural and cultural heritage for future generations.