On Sept. 15, US president Barack Obama declared the creation of a new national marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s called the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument and lies about 150 miles southeast of the coast of Cape Cod, and contains over 4,900 square miles of ocean.
In the video above, you can see the amazing array of diverse life that lives in the region. It is an area thriving with deep sea corals, some of them new to science, as well as rare fish and invertebrates. Scientists call it the Yellowstone of the Atlantic. The designation prohibits fishing, mining and drilling. Some fishing and mining groups opposed the action.
Peter Auster, the Mystic Aquarium’s senior research scientist, called it “a gift to the American people, to all of humanity.”
The effort comes just two weeks after the president expanded by 442,781 square miles another protected area in the Pacific called the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii. That move created the world’s largest marine protected area.
With this and other efforts to establish monuments under the US Antiquities Act (which requires no Congressional approval), the president has used his executive power to protect over 265 million acres of America’s public lands and waters. That is more than any other president in history.