New England is home to the only marine national monument in the Atlantic, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts. Designated by President Obama in 2016, the monument provides refuge to an abundance of species, both rare and common.

CLF in Action

Even before the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument was established, CLF advocated for protecting special places in our ocean. In 2016, we played a key role in the creation of this monument, the very first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean. And we have not stopped. We are fighting to keep this and other important ocean areas safe.

In 2020, the Trump administration opened the monument to commercial fishing – an illegal move that would harm our fishing communities and the ocean. CLF sued the Trump administration and, in time, we were instrumental in getting President Biden to restore the monument’s original protections

Our national monuments, whether on lands or in the ocean, are permanent. That’s why we’re using the law to protect the monument and the health of our ocean. 

What’s at Stake

The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument protects ancient and fragile coral communities, endangered whales, and an abundance of unique and rare marine life. Allowing commercial fishing or other industrial activities would devastate this special place. Once a coral community is destroyed or an endangered species goes extinct, there’s no going back. We must protect this ocean treasure. 

The monument designation safeguards the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts from these threats. The protections to this monument will allow fish populations to rebound, provide a safe habitat for endangered species, and help our coastal economies thrive.

Climate change and ocean acidification already threaten our ocean resources. That’s why we must continue to fully protect the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. We must give future generations the best chance of inheriting a healthy ocean.