Obama: New England undersea mountain not a national monument

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — President Barack Obama is not considering an underwater mountain in the Gulf of Maine for designation as a national monument.

Environmental groups want Obama to permanently protect Cashes Ledge, an underwater mountain and offshore ecosystem. But a spokesperson for the White House Council on Environmental Quality said Friday that Cashes Ledge is "not under consideration for a designation at this time."

The proposal to protect Cashes Ledge drew heavy opposition from commercial fishing groups that saw the move as an attack on their industry and livelihood of their members. Associated Fisheries of Maine President Terry Alexander called Obama's action a relief.

Environmentalists also seek to protect the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts, a chain of undersea formations about 150 miles off the coast of Massachusetts.