The ocean offers what may seem like endless supply of natural resources, ecosystem services, or for some, simple enjoyment. Yet, in the face of climate change and overexploitation, many of these unique ecosystems and their inhabitants face an uphill battle. A president's use of the Antiquities Act establishing a national monument is an efficient and effective method of protecting these diverse ecosystems, as long as the area to be protected satisfies one of the Act's limitations that the monument be "situated on land owned or controlled by the federal government." Prior to a 2017 lawsuit concerning President Obama's use of the Act to establish the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast of New England, no one had specifically protested a marine national monument on grounds that it is not "situated on land owned or controlled by the federal government." This Comment concludes that submerged lands qualify as "land" within the meaning of the Antiquities Act, and that, until Congress acts, the federal government maintains sufficient ownership and control of the submerged lands and waters within the Monument's boundaries. Simply put, if the federal government doesn't have sufficient ownership or control over the land and waters within the Exclusive Economic Zone, then who does?
Tyler C. Costello,
Are Marine National Monuments "Situated on Lands Owned or Controlled by the Government of the United States?",
Ocean & Coastal L.J.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.mainelaw.maine.edu/oclj/vol24/iss2/5
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