President Obama Designates Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

Philippe Cousteau’s EarthEcho International Celebrates a Major Advance in Protecting Our Ocean for Future Generations

EarthEcho International’s youth leaders and staff commend President Obama and the many individuals who worked to establish the nation’s first fully protected marine reserve in the Atlantic Ocean through today’s historic designation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.

“This is the type of bold action our leaders must take to begin healing a resource that literally makes life on earth possible,” said EarthEcho International President Philippe Cousteau. “I join EarthEcho’s Youth Leadership Council* in applauding this visionary step forward in a renewed focus on protecting and conserving our ocean’s riches for many generations to come.”

Located 150 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, this area is a ruggedly beautiful deep-sea Eden comprised of mountains (seamounts), some rising more the 7,000 feet from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, and massive canyons. The canyons and seamounts are home to fragile and ancient deep-sea coral communities, some the size of small trees, that provide food, spawning habitat, and shelter for an array of fish and crustaceans. The waters above teem with ocean life, including large fish like tunas and billfish, sea turtles, seabirds, and what may be the highest diversity of whales, dolphins, and porpoises in the North Atlantic, including the iconic sperm whale.

The reason this is such an important action—protecting marine habitat on a large scale—is because it creates a multitude of benefits, from protecting critical spawning grounds that support healthy fish and shellfish populations, to providing a vital frontier for scientific discovery, to bolstering tourism and protecting cultural heritage. And many scientists agree that protecting areas like the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument make our ocean more resilient against the impacts of climate change.

*EarthEcho’s Youth Leadership Council is comprised of young environmental leaders from across the country, ages 15-22. Philippe Cousteau and EarthEcho Youth Leadership Council members are participating in the Our Ocean, One Future: Leadership Summit, a parallel event to the Our Ocean conference co-hosted by the U.S. Department of State, Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and the Sustainable Oceans Alliance.