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Zoo New England thanks President Obama after designation of first Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean

There is much reason to celebrate with President Obama’s designation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. President Obama made this announcement during the 3rd annual Our Ocean Conference in Washington, D.C. This designation comes following the August expansion by the President of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) in Hawaii.

“Yesterday’s historic designation of the Atlantic’s first marine national monument is a huge step forward in the efforts to preserve our oceans and their ecological integrity, particularly in the face of environmental stressors brought on by climate change and rising sea temperatures in the region” says John Linehan, Zoo New England President & CEO. “We thank President Obama and congratulate our friends at the New England Aquarium and Mystic Aquarium for all their hard-work and efforts to ensure that this incredibly valuable area will be a refuge for so many critically important species. From this large and unique sanctuary marine species will have a place from which to reproduce, disperse and repopulate surrounding areas. It will also serve as a control area from which we can measure environmental impacts and changes. Research conducted here will educate and inform current and future conservation stewards for years to come.”

Located nearly 200 miles off the coast of Cape Cod and Rhode Island, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is a 4,913 square-mile area that is home to a lush environment featuring one of the most abundant and diverse communities of deep sea corals on the Atlantic seaboard, three underwater canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon and four underwater mountains, or seamounts, which are teeming with ocean life including endangered sperm whales, sea turtles, dolphins and seabirds such as the Atlantic puffin.