In 2020, the Trump administration opened up the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument to industrial fishing – leaving precious and endangered species vulnerable. We stepped up right away to fight this unprecedented and unconstitutional action in court.
President Biden heard our plea and ordered a major review of the boundaries and conditions of the Canyons and Seamounts – along with our cherished Utah monuments.
Today, we celebrate.
The Biden administration has announced plans to fully restore protections to all three monuments, including to New England’s ocean treasure – affirming once again that the Canyons and Seamounts monument deserves to be protected permanently. CLF’s President, Bradley Campbell, joined advocates at the White House to witness this monumental step.
The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Support Marine Life and Coastal Economies
Designated in 2016 by President Obama, the Canyons and Seamounts offer a spectacular underwater seascape – showcasing some of the most vibrant and unique forms of life.
The canyons cut thousands of meters below the sea’s surface, while the seamounts rise like mountains from the ocean floor. Together, they provide a home for all sorts of marine life, from the ancient deep-sea corals that grow in shades of pink and orange to the blue whales, the largest animal on earth, that swim at the surface.
But this majestic monument provides more than beautiful underwater sights – it fosters the resilience and health of our marine ecosystems. And, it improves their ability to resist and recover from the impacts of climate change.
On top of this, research shows that setting aside parts of the ocean fuels an abundance and diversity of life in adjacent waters. That, in turn, furthers our ocean economy by supporting activities such as commercial and recreational fishing, whale watching, and ecotourism in coastal communities, among other activities.
We Came Together to Fight for the Future of this Ocean Treasure
The rollback of the monument’s protections led scientists, fishermen, elected officials, and community members to raise their voices to advocate for its preservation.
Thousands of people signed a petition – spearheaded by CLF and our partners – asking the government to save the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts.
On his first day in office, Biden kicked off his presidency with a flurry of executive orders and promises – making a commitment to listen to science and protect our lands and ocean.
Now, he’s carrying these promises through. Biden signed a proclamation to fully restore the original protections to our marine national monument.
We Thank President Biden
Protecting places like the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts – and land-based national monuments like Bear Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante – can help us build a path that honors a generations-old legacy of looking after the most special natural areas of our nation.