Wilderness Society commends Obama Administration for protecting rare ocean ecosystems off New England coast

Sep 15, 2016

Coral in Nygren Canyon. 

Green Fire Productions, flickr.
Yesterday, the Obama Administration announced protections for a stunning submerged landscape off the coast of New England.

The deep-sea ecosystems found in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument are in greater jeopardy than ever before. Technological advancements allow fishing at extreme depths, including destructive bottom-trawling and dredging, and climate change causes a host of new threats in our rapidly warming oceans.

Many fish around the canyons and seamounts reproduce infrequently, making their populations extremely vulnerable to overfishing, and trawling can damage the coral beds on which a variety of species rely. Permanently protection for New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts will help shield these unique spots from harm.

Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society, commended the Obama Administration today for its leadership in protecting more of the world’s oceans:

“Just as wild lands around the globe are beleaguered by human development and climate change, our oceans are under duress today more than ever before. The Administration is taking a holistic view of conservation with the protection of New England’s Coral Canyons and Sea Mounts—a spectacularly rare underwater ecosystem that deserves special care for the role it plays in revitalizing marine life that sustains the health of our oceans and the coastal communities that depend on thriving fisheries.

“We have a responsibility to steward not only the land and air, but the waters and oceans of this planet that regulate our climate and sustain the teeming array of life beneath the surface. This is a designation that will pay forward for many generations to come.”

The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 700,000 members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands. www.wilderness.org.   

Contact:  Matt Keller, National Monuments Campaign Director, The Wilderness Society, matt_keller@tws.org, 970-946-0906