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September 19, 2016

President Obama Creates the First Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean

Our Ocean Conference
Kelsey Stone, NEAQ

Last week, during the 3rd annual Our Ocean Conference, President Obama announced the designation of the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, off the coast of New England.

This marine monument, which measures 4,913 square miles nearly the size of the state of Connecticut, encompasses pristine underwater mountains and canyons and will provide protection to over 600 marine species, including deep-sea coral and endangered whales and sea turtles. 

“We applaud President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, on their efforts to safeguard our underwater treasures for future generations. From the extension of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to the designation of the Atlantic ocean’s first marine monument, their actions will make our oceans more resilient to the impacts of climate change. For our part, WILDCOAST will continue its work to conserve our beautiful coast and ocean in the U.S., Mexico and Cuba,” said Serge Dedina, WILDCOAST’s Executive Director.

Check out National Geographic's video on why President Obama is so committed to conservation: 

Last month, President Obama expanded the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii by 442,781 square miles, creating the world’s largest marine reserve.  To date, President Obama has protected more land and ocean than any other U.S. president in history. 

“Over the past several decades, the nation has made great strides in its stewardship of the ocean, but the ocean faces new threats from varied uses, climate change, and related impacts. Through exploration, we continue to make new discoveries and improve our understanding of ocean ecosystems. In these waters, the Atlantic Ocean meets the continental shelf in a region of great abundance and diversity as well as stark geological relief. The waters are home to many species of deep-sea corals, fish, whales and other marine mammals.” President Obama