The NE Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is threatened by big oil companies that are seeking permission to drill in Lydonia Canyon. The solar cell industry wants to strip-mine seamounts for tellurium with robotic submarines, not a lot of jobs there. It would be more profitable to destroy a seamount than to continue buying from the Chinese (who bought and keep closed America’s only tellurium mine, in Mountain Pass, CA). In Belgium, tellurium is being recovered from discarded solar panels and computer boards.
This national park area was created much like the Grand Canyon National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, to protect a spectacular place from exploitation and profit by big industries, in particular oil and gas drilling and mineral mining. It took Congress to the end of President Wilson’s term to legislate the Grand Canyon National Park. During World War 1 there was a great demand for mineral mining, and it was no surprise Congress waited until after the war to legislate the national park.
Today, it is into these marine national monument waters that fourteen lobster boats continue to go. Out more than 200 miles from home ports in RI, MA and NH, they go to trap lobster along the fringe of the Monument, to work the ribbon of water less than 500 meters that wraps the northern extent of this place. Lobstermen are the watchmen of the deep sea canyons, eyes on the resource despite the size of waves that may roll and crash, guardians of the new national park area for no one else is out there on a regular basis.