info 06.19.17

Trump on the Ocean
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Let's take a moment to celebrate Jones Beach and the thing that did not happen.

We wrote in July, 2012 in a post titled Jones Beach R.I.P.:
…Donald Trump finally has his hands on part of Jones Beach, after reaching an agreement with of The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) to build Trump on the Ocean, a large restaurant and catering hall, at the Central Mall boardwalk. It marks the end of a six-year legal battle with OPRHP over aspects of the design.

Grafting the Trump brand, though, in all its brassy vulgarity, onto the picnic-sweet charms of Jones Beach strikes us as a crude violation of context, taste, and refuge. Can't there be a few goddamn places left without the grubby mark of that braying man? We'll get through it—New York has survived worse. But we deserve better.

There were numerous legal challenges to the $24 million Jones Beach project that Trump had been attempting to build since 2006. But it was on Oct. 29, 2012 that Mother Nature weighed in. After Hurricane Sandy destroyed the construction site (among so much else), Trump took the opportunity to walk away from the deal.

The potential for Trump to wreak damage on the oceans has, of course, grown exponentially. Sure, he followed tradition and proclaimed the month of June National Oceans Month but the focus has shifted from protection to exploitation. The proclamation says "This month, we recognize the importance of harnessing the seas for our national security and prosperity."

Expect drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic to ramp up. The President signed an executive order in April to review marine sanctuaries created by President Obama.

Increased drilling means an increase in seismic blasting, used to find oil reserves. This type of blasting takes place several times a minute, 24 hours a day, and can last for weeks in one area. Marine animals, including whales, dolphins and turtles, can suffer permanent hearing loss and disruption of migration patterns and habitats. The Trump administration issued a draft Incidental Harassment Authorizations on June 6 which is needed for increased seismic blasting. Comments are open through July 6.

It means reduced monitoring of overfishing, trash, acidification and rising temperatures in the oceans, particularly through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Last week, Trump told the mayor of Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay, which is facing the prospect of being underwater within two decades, not to worry. "Your island has been there for hundreds of years, and I believe your island will be there for hundreds more."

The Ocean Conservancy and the Ocean Foundation are two of the groups who are fighting for clean, healthy, incidental harassment-free oceans.

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