PORTLAND, Maine - A federal court has ruled that a group of fishing organizations can move forward with a lawsuit that seeks to eliminate the first national marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean.
The fishing groups sued to challenge the creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument created by President Barack Obama in 2016. It's a 5,000-square-mile area off of New England.
Marine national monuments are underwater areas designed to protect unique or vulnerable ecosystems.
The lawsuit was put on hold by a review of national monuments ordered by the Trump administration. But court filings at U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia say the stay was lifted in mid-March and the litigation can proceed.
The court ordered the federal government to respond to the lawsuit by April 16.