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Saturday, October 9, 2021

Celebrating Joe Biden’s reversal of Trump attack on national monuments including Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

Another Trump nightmare ended

By Sean Martin, Mystic Aquarium 

Mystic Aquarium celebrates the federal action to restore protections to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, the only marine monument in the U.S. Atlantic Ocean.  

This landmark decision will better protect New England’s rich marine life from human activity, including the impact of climate change. Mystic Aquarium’s Dr. Peter Auster spent decades studying the region and that work, in concert with many others, was instrumental in getting this important designation in 2016.  

Additionally, collaboration between scientists at Mystic Aquarium and New England Aquarium led to a recent study, published in Frontiers in Marine Science, that found opening the monument to commercial fishing would impact protection of marine species that inhabit the vital 3.14 million acre area. 

“This is an extremely important moment for all who care about protecting the ocean,” said Mystic Aquarium President and CEO Steve Coan, who attended the proclamation signing ceremony at the invitation of the White House.  

“The monument provides a great opportunity for our scientists to study this spectacular ‘living laboratory’ and better understand how the ocean works. We’ve been able to share this treasure with the public through the creation of an immersive exhibit about the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. 

"The exhibit has reached millions of visitors, including thousands of school children, and has been expanded through the support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, offering guests an interactive look at the fascinating ocean area they would likely never be able to see up close.  We thank the Biden Administration, Senator Blumenthal, and other members of the New England delegation for their continued commitment to science, to conserving our natural heritage, and to protecting special places in the ocean.” 

The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is located approximately 130 miles off the coast of New England and includes four undersea mountains and three undersea canyons.

Roughly the size of Connecticut, this region is renowned for its biodiversity, including long-lived, deep-sea coral communities and large concentrations of marine wildlife, including endangered deep-diving sperm whales and critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. 

Species that frequent the monument include a vast array of whales, dolphins, seabirds, and sea turtles, as well as large predatory fish such as tuna, billfish, swordfish, and sharks.