Today’s announcement by President Barack Obama to designate Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean, is vital to protect fragile deep-sea ecosystems under threat off the coast of New England.
This announcement by President Obama underscores bis leadership in ocean protection and builds on last month’s expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii. We believe that these national marine monuments are essential actions for protecting our ocean and marine wildlife.
Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument will protect 4,913 square miles of marine ecosystems with unique geological features that have been the subject of scientific exploration and discovery since the 1970s. These features include three underwater canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon, and four underwater mountains known as “seamounts” that are biodiversity hotspots and home to many rare and endangered species.
Credit: Mountains in the Sea 2004. NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration; Dr. Les Watling, Chief Scientist, University of Maine