Victory | October 8, 2021
Protections Restored for Critical Marine Habitat in New England
President Biden signed an executive order that reinstated protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast of New England. The marine monument, which is roughly the size of Connecticut, is the first of its kind in the U.S. Atlantic Ocean and was first established in 2016 to protect vulnerable deep-sea coral and sponge gardens from destructive fishing methods. This monument includes diverse corals and sponges on the seafloor, serves as a nursery for commercially important fish species, and is home to critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. Oceana has campaigned for years in New England to identify and protect deep-sea coral areas from destructive fishing methods, while maintaining robust fisheries, as part of its “freeze the footprint” strategy.