Full steam ahead: Draft plan aims at stronger management for New England ocean haven

Media Contacts
Kelsey Lamp

Director, Protect Our Oceans Campaign, Environment America Research & Policy Center

Pink bubblegum deep sea coral
NOAA Ocean Exploration | Public Domain
This large bubblegum coral was observed during a 2021 expedition to Retriever Seamount, in the Northeast Canyons & Seamounts. Based on growth rates for this species, this colony is approximately 100 years old.

BOSTON — In welcome news for the whales, dolphins and deep sea coral off the New England coast, the Biden administration released a draft management plan for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument on Tuesday. The draft plan will inform science, outreach and resource protection for the ocean life hotspot. Members of the public will be able to comment on the plan online and at three in-person and three virtual meetings through Thursday, October 26

The Canyons & Seamounts is a spectacular ocean habitat for many majestic and rare marine species. Protected in 2016 by President Barack Obama, the monument was restored to its highly-protected status by President Joe Biden early in his term after a Trump-era rollback. Today, the monument is one of the few areas of the United States’ Atlantic territory set to be protected against almost all forms of destructive human activities. 

Kelsey Lamp, Protect our Oceans Campaign Director with Environment America Research & Policy Center, released the following statement: 

“Every time scientists fly over the Canyons or deep sea robots dive on the Seamounts, they uncover previously unknown, exciting ways our ocean life uses this haven. I’m excited to see the Biden administration move full steam ahead to finalize a plan that will bring more research, more resources and more public attention to this wild, wondrous place. 

“A robust plan will keep the marine life that calls the Canyons & Seamounts home safe from all current and emerging threats. It also will help us better understand the critical role that these important ecosystems play in the health of our broader ocean. We hope everyone who cares about the ocean makes their voice heard during the comment period, and look forward to working with the Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA to ensure that this ocean treasure retains its luster.”