NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — On Friday, September 16th Senator Richard Blumenthal, fishermen, advocates and experts shared details of the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts becoming the first ever marine national monument in the Atlantic.
The designation as a national monument will protect the area from damaging commercial activity and was done to ensure proper care and management. The measure will protect countless species from irreversible damage, the evolving climate change, economic activity reliant on the health of the ocean,and advanced research.
The New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts is located 150 miles off the coast of New England along the continental shelf. The area is home to at least 73 different species of deep-sea coral, countless sharks, whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and sea birds. The undersea canyons rival the Grand Canyon in both size and scale, and the underwater mountains are higher than any east of the Rockies.
Blumenthal on the designation:
“This historic step helps preserve the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts-an environmental treasure-for generations to come. This first ever Atlantic marine national monument will protect countless species and habitats from irreversible damage, advance key research, and support critical jobs that depend on healthy oceans. I am pleased President Obama heeded calls from countless Connecticut residents, regional businesses, marine scientists, religious leaders and environmental organizations as well as the entire Connecticut delegation to conserve this precious natural resource.The President set sensible boundaries for the monument-modifying the original proposal-and sought to balance key environmental goals with the important economic and job interests of fishermen in New England. I’ve urged that the President hear and heed Connecticut fishermen and the New England fishing industry. I am also encouraged NOAA will be providing new data and scientific evidence potentially supporting-indeed requiring-revision of fishing quotas by appropriate management councils.”