Last week, U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., joined Dare and Carteret counties in opposing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) proposed expansion of the Monitor Sanctuary off the Eastern North Carolina coast.
The existing sanctuary protects the remains of the USS Monitor, a Civil War ironclad that sank in December 1862 off of Cape Hatteras. In January, NOAA published proposals to significantly expand the Monitor Sanctuary.
Dare and Carteret counties subsequently passed public resolutions opposing expansion because of concerns they may be used in the future to restrict public access to large areas of federal waters off the North Carolina coast.
“There is no need for new designations or access restrictions for fishermen and boaters that may flow from them in the future,” said Congressman Jones.
Congressman Jones has long been an advocate for Eastern North Carolina fishermen by fighting against overreaching government regulations on recreational and commercial fishing. He has also secured much-needed money for dredging at Morehead City Harbor, and Oregon, Hatteras, and New River Inlets, in addition to fighting the Obama administration’s assault on fishing access through unilateral marine monument designation.
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary Expansion: The Controversy Continues