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Bordallo statement on Marianas Trench Monument

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the Guam Congressional Delegate) — U.S. Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo issued the following statement on the memorandum from Interior Secretary Zinke to President Trump recommending changes to national monuments designated by previous presidents.

The Washington Post published a leaked copy of this memorandum, which the Trump administration has not made public to date.

Since President Trump’s executive orders directing the Interior and Commerce Departments to review designated marine national monuments, Congresswoman Bordallo has sought to safeguard the Marianas Trench monument and demand transparency from the Trump administration:

• June 29 letter to Interior Secretary Zinke and Commerce Secretary Ross supporting the Marianas Trench monument’s current boundaries, as originally designated by President George W. Bush in early 2009.

• July 18 letter with 21 Democratic Senate and House colleagues requesting additional time for public comment on the Commerce Department’s review of the Marianas Trench monument, which was originally just 30 days. The Commerce Department agreed to extend the public comment period on August 29.

• July 25 letter with 64 House Democrats urging the Trump Administration to maintain protections for the Marianas Trench, other marine national monuments, and designated national marine sanctuaries.

• Sept. 8 letter with 26 House Democrats requesting that President Trump make public the memo he received from Secretary Zinke outlining recommendations for the future of national monuments pursuant to Executive Order 13792.

“I am pleased that the Interior Department, reportedly, has not recommended that President Trump disband the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument. The designation of the Marianas Trench monument during the Bush administration underwent a rigorous review process, including an extensive public comment that led to positive considerations for traditional fishing and cultural practices. The people of Guam deserve transparency so it is unfortunate that we are learning of this administration’s proposed decision through the media. Earlier this month, 26 of my Democratic colleagues and I asked the president to make this ‘secret’ memo public to give clarity and certainty to the American people about the future of their national monuments.

“While this recent revelation is encouraging, the Marianas Trench is not in the clear just yet. I am watching closely for the Commerce Department’s separate review of marine national monuments due to be finalized by the end of October.”

In addition to the Interior Department’s review, marine national monuments like the Marianas Trench are under review by the Commerce Department, per President Trump’s offshore energy executive order. Congresswoman Bordallo has made clear to the Trump administration that the people of Guam want their Marianas Trench monument, and its marine wildlife, to remain protected.