Save Our Ocean Treasures
We have an incredible natural heritage in our oceans—not only whales, sea turtles, coral and fish but also the sea canyons and kelp forests that allow these creatures to survive and thrive. President Obama now has an historic opportunity to safeguard New England’s remaining ocean jewels now and forever.
Two of America’s most amazing ocean areas lie off of New England’s coast: Coral Canyons and Seamounts, and Cashes Ledge. These places provide vital refuges for a stunning diversity of ocean wildlife— including ancient coral gardens, vast kelp forests, whales, dolphins, sea turtles, seabirds, and fish.
Yet destructive activities have already taken a toll, and the specter of deep sea mining and drilling casts a shadow over what remains.
Coral Canyons and Seamounts. Southeast of Cape Cod, where the continental shelf drops off into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, there are canyons as deep as the Grand Canyon and underwater mountains higher than any east of the Rockies. The waters above these canyons and seamounts teem with ocean wildlife—including tuna, sharks, seabirds, and the endangered sperm and right whales.
Cashes Ledge. Approximately 80 miles southeast of Portland, Maine, the ledge of an underwater mountain range creates a flow of nutrients and oxygen that allow diverse marine life to flourish. Cashes Ledge features the largest and deepest cold-water kelp forest on the Atlantic seaboard—with kelp growing so high that in some places it towers over divers’ heads. The area also hosts bluefin tuna, sea turtles, sharks, and also provides seasonal habitat for several types of whales
- The Coral Canyons and Seamounts Area has canyons as deep as the Grand Canyon and mountains higher than any east of the Rockies.
- Cashes Ledge features the largest cold-water kelp forest on the Atlantic seaboard.
- Some of the corals at Coral Canyons are the size of small trees and took centuries to grow.