Northeast Coral Canyons and Seamounts Monument Provides Vital Protection for Marine Life

Obama Administration Grants U.S. National Monument Status to a Portion of the Atlantic Ocean

The Obama administration has announced the creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off Massachusetts, for the first time granting U.S. National Monument status to a portion of the Atlantic Ocean.

“Permanent monument protection for Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, a first-of-its-kind designation for the Atlantic Ocean, comes at a critical moment for a truly extraordinary place. The whales, dolphins, sharks, and the many species of fish and seabirds that rely on the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts will now have safe haven in a vibrant and globally unique wilderness,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “President Obama continues to build a conservation legacy that will preserve some of America’s most cherished ocean treasures for generations to come, which is more important than ever in the face of climate change.”

The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument sits about 150 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, an area of little-disturbed ocean habitat with marine canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon and underwater mountains rising higher than any mountains east of the Rockies. It’s home to nearly a thousand marine species, including some corals thought to be as much as a thousand years old. A recent poll showed four in five Massachusetts and Rhode Island residents support permanently protecting special ocean areas like the Canyons and Seamounts from mining, drilling and commercial fishing.

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