Protect Our Oceans

College students’ support for New England’s ocean treasures runs deep

The message is clear: students want to see Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument protected.


New England Aquarium | Used by permission
A fin whale spotted by New England Aquarium scientists in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts

In a public hearing put on by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), students from MASSPIRG Students provided public comments supporting the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument.

Located about 130 miles off southeast of Cape Cod, it’s the only marine national monument in the Atlantic. Some of the canyons found there are deeper than the Grand Canyon, and it’s truly one of our ocean treasures. It must be protected.

FWS and NOAA were seeking input on the proposed management plan for the monument that was established by President Obama during his time in the White House.

MASSPIRG Students | Used by permission
Student providing verbal comment

Below is the comment provided by one of the students.

Hi, my name is Cassia and I study at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts. I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today in favor of the swift approval of  a strong conservation focused management plan for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts  Marine National Monument.  

“My favorite ocean experience is when I was surfing in Costa Rica and the waves were so  big that I kept getting swallowed by them. It was an amazing experience because I got to  connect with the ocean in a way I never have before.  

“I want to see New England’s oceans protected so that future generations can enjoy the  ocean I love. 

“That’s why I am glad to see the Biden administration move forward with a management plan  that will help us better understand, appreciate, and protect this amazing place. A fun fact about the monument’s ecosystem is there are at least 54 species of deep-sea corals. Actually, on a recent expedition NOAA scientists discovered a bamboo coral estimated to  be around 1,600 years old. 

“Keeping this ocean life safe is just one more way the Biden administration can fulfill its  commitment to America the Beautiful. 

“In particular, the final plan should ensure future research should effectively inform  management to advance conservation outcomes that sustain its biodiversity through climate  change impacts. The Monument served as a living laboratory, which is why I was excited to see  the draft include an exploration and research plan that will help us better understand what  wonders the area holds and will help us spot threats as they emerge. 

“The plan should also include an effective monitoring and enforcement program to  ensure the protections put forward by President Biden’s proclamation achieve their goal of  safeguarding ocean life. Monument managers should know who is using the area and for what,  and I urge you to put in place rules and permits that will ensure that illegal activities are not  able to occur in this ocean refuge. 

Again, Thank you for the opportunity to speak.

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