Letter: A healthy ocean is crucial for Maine

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Budget cuts for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and opening the Atlantic to offshore drilling would be detrimental to Maine’s coasts and oceans. The Trump administration is currently proposing both. NOAA is essential in the daily lives of Americans. NOAA manages oceanic resources, providing Americans with access to safe seafood. Reducing funds for NOAA would impact Maine’s tourism industry, as well as the option of safe seafood for Maine’s population. Maine has nearly 3,500 miles of coastline and more than 3,100 off-shore islands. It is most famous for its lobster harvesting, with an annual yield of 40 million pounds. Further, Maine has a rich history with activities like whale-watching, sailing, and nature-based tourism. Recreational fishing is not only popular amongst Maine’s population, but it can also benefit local Maine communities.

The Trump administration is proposing to get rid of the New England Canyons and Seamounts monument, the only Atlantic national monument. This oceanic area was designated as especially important by marine scientists due to its unusually high biodiversity. Spanning almost 5,000 square miles, the monument is incredibly beneficial for fish and marine habitats within it. It is also important to protect these oceanic ecosystems from the harmful effects of climate change. Maintaining a healthy ocean with an abundance of ecosystems is crucial to Maine’s future generations.

Charlotte Youkilis
Environment Maine