Report Aug 9, 2017

Legal Analysis of the Antiquities Act and Marine Monuments

The Antiquities Act of 1906 may be used to protect marine areas.

Opponents of National Monuments have made many arguments against the broad scope of the Antiquities Act of 1906, which has been used by presidents for more than 100 years to protect areas of historic or scientific interest beyond small scale archeological sites. However, contrary to the opponents’ arguments, the use of the Act to protect marine objects of historic or scientific interest, including unique marine habitats, species, and ecological or ecological features, through the creation of marine national monuments is authorized under the Act.

This legal analysis by Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer discusses the president’s ability to ensure the continued protection of marine areas through an Antiquities Act designation. Additional analysis discusses the United States’ authority over the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument and the status of the Exclusive Economic Zone.

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