Nov 28, 2015

US Marine Natural Monuments: From President Clinton to President Obama

The Justice Department explains why designation of marine national monuments is legally sound - in certain locations though not in others - and ecologically important.

"Establishing a National Monument in the Territorial Sea or the EEZ." was prepared by Randolph D. Moss, Asst AG, Office of Legal Counsel U.S. Department of Justice* . The key legal assertions are summarized at the top of the memo as follows: (bulletpointed for ease of reading) (see transcription of full report)

"We conclude that the President could use his authority under the Antiquities Act to establish a national monument in the Territorial Sea.

* "We also believe the President could establish a national monument in the EEZ to protect marine resources.

* "We are unconvinced, however, that the President could establish a national wildlife refuge in either area based on implied authority rooted in practice.

"Finally, with respect to the management issues, we believe that

* "Department of the Interior must have management authority over any national monument, that
* "The Fish and Wildlife Service cannot share management responsibilities with another agency over any national wildlife refuge area within a national monument, that

* "Fishery management plans issued under the MSFCMA must be consistent with regulations applicable to national monuments, and that

* * Establishment of a national monument would not preclude the establishment of a national marine sanctuary in the same area under the NMSA" [National Marine Sanctuaries Act]"

The above is the opening summary of a much longer document
whose sections are:


PART 1. Establishing a National Monument under the Antiquities Act.
(A). The territorial Sea Pg 11.
(B). The Exclusive Economic Zone Pg 16


A. Management of National Monuments Pg 24.
B. Effect of the MSFCMA on Establishment and Management of National Monuments. Pg 26.
C. Effect of Establishment of a National Monument on the Secretary of Commerce's Authority to Establish a National Marine Sanctuary under the NMSA. Pg 27

* Randolph D. Moss is presently US District Court Judge in the District of Columbia Court

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