So some exciting news has been brought to my attention today! According to the White House’s official statement released only a few hours ago,
“President Obama will designate the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean, protecting fragile deep-sea ecosystems off the coast of New England as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The new national monument – which encompasses pristine underwater mountains and canyons – will provide critical protections for important ecological resources and marine species, including deep-sea coral and endangered whales and sea turtles.”
Now some might be thinking, “What is a monument going to do to protect the Ocean?” Well this particular monument is set in a region of the Atlantic ocean about four times the size of Rhode Island; that contains deep-sea canyons, extinct volcanoes, and a diverse amount of sea life.The White House statement also mentioned a study conducted by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), highlighting the unusually warm ocean temperatures in that specific area. The study found that oceans
with higher temperatures can harm the various species of fish, such as salmon, and lobster.
By designating this a safe area as well as a national monument, the region would be under permanent protection, significantly decreasing unnatural threats to the ecosystem such as pollution, oceanic dead-zones and unsustainable fishing practices. Immediate action has been put into place save for local lobster and crabbing industries, which have been given a seven year time-limit to leave the area. Such immediate action has banned mining, drilling, oil and gas exploration, as well as commercial fishing, and has also given fishermen 60 days to finish their operations completely within the area.
Although it is only a small portion of the ocean being protected, it is an enormous step forward for sustainability and ocean conservation. By creating more areas like this one, we are so much closer to creating a healthier Earth. By having our world leaders care about such things, we are moving forward and growing together. People have started a dialogue that has reached the ears of people who can enact change. There is power in having your opinion heard and getting involved, even if you are just one person. Hopefully we see more countries adopt this idea and create more safe havens for marine life and wildlife as well.
Living right on the Atlantic ocean I am overjoyed to know that I am close to where change is happening. It should be very interesting in the next few years to see how this develops and the environmental impact of this monument. Perhaps we’ll see a healthier ocean and more marine life. This is a great way to follow closely what the ocean is like or what it can be like without human interference and the threats we pose to the ecosystems within it.
For more information you can read up on the monument at http://www.whitehouse.gov
“It reminded us that nature’s actually resilient, if we take care to just stop actively destroying it.” -Barack Obama