Environmental groups that want to save a marine monument created by former President Barack Obama in the ocean off of New England are asking to intervene in a lawsuit.
They say the nearly 5,000-square-mile monument area has "extraordinary scientific and ecological importance," including its rare deep-sea corals and endangered whales.
Obama created the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument in September using the Antiquities Act. The move was unpopular with commercial fishing groups because it restricts access to fishing areas, and some filed the lawsuit challenging its creation.
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Several groups filed a motion Wednesday to intervene in the case. They include the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Conservation Law Foundation, the Center for Biological Diversity and a Bar Harbor, Maine, naturalist.