First U.S. ocean monument named in the Atlantic | Science News

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First U.S. ocean monument named in the Atlantic

President Obama designates pristine area to protect sea life off New England coast

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5:21pm, September 15, 2016
Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

MONUMENTAL OCCASION   A section of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cape Cod is the newest U.S. national monument (area in boxes).

A stretch of ocean off the coast of Cape Cod more than four times the size of Rhode Island has become the first U.S. marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean.

President Barack Obama formally announced the new 12,725-square-kilometer monument, called the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, September 15 at the Our Ocean Conference in Washington, D.C. This designation will help protect the region’s fragile deep-sea ecosystem, which includes whales, sea turtles and corals, by gradually phasing out commercial fishing, including for crab and lobster, Obama said.

“In these waters, the Atlantic Ocean meets the continental shelf in a region of great abundance and diversity as well as stark geological relief,” Obama said. The new monument includes underwater canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon

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