Cape Cod Times - Opinion: Cheers and Jeers - What about protecting Nantucket Sound

September 4, 2015

Cape Cod Times: Cheers & Jeers
Treasures that washed ashore this week; flotsam we hope the next tide carries away, Posted Sep. 4, 2015

What about protecting Nantucket Sound?

We have no problem with national environmental groups calling this week for large ocean tracts off Cape Cod to be declared "a marine national monument," but where were they when Massachusetts proposed making Nantucket Sound a national marine sanctuary.

The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and such partners as the Natural Resources Defense Council are seeking protections for the Cashes Ledge Closed Area in the Gulf of Maine and the New England Canyons and Seamounts off the Cape -- areas CLF describes as "deep-sea treasures."

But when Cape Wind staked its claim on Horseshoe Shoals in the middle of Nantucket Sound in 2002, CLF and many other national environmental groups supported the developer even though Sen. Edward Kennedy and U.S. Rep. William Delahunt tried to resurrect a state proposal from 1980 to make the Sound a marine sanctuary. Designating the Sound a marine sanctuary would have prevented commercial development on our national treasure.

The New England Canyons and Seamounts are located about 150 miles off the coast of southern New England. But doesn't it also make sense to protect an area that is much closer to the Cape, one that could easily be exploited by developers?