Groups to Seek 'National Monument' Protection for Cashes Ledge
Conservation groups will this week officially call for the Cashes Ledge Closed Area in the Gulf of Maine to be designated a national monument.
At an event in Boston Wednesday, the Conservation Law Foundation, and others, will urge the White House to extend protections to the undersea mountain range - about 80 miles east of the Maine and Massachusetts coastlines.
Among those supporting the measure is Paul Dobbins, president of Ocean Approved, a Portland-based kelp-farming operation.
"Cashes Ledge is a unique area," Dobbins says. "It's the largest kelp forest on the eastern seaboard, and it acts as a marine refuge for all sorts of organisms and it's important for the breeding fish population."
Maine Gov. Paul LePage objects to the proposal, complaining that such a move would negatively affect many of the state's fishermen, who rely on what he calls "natural resources-based industries."