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The First Protected Marine Area in the Atlantic Ocean Was Just Announced

Written by Mary Zakheim

Are you a fan of rare deep sea corals, endangered whales and unique marine species? Then you’ll like today’s news. Earlier this morning, we saw this pop up on our Twitter feeds:

So, yeah. Pretty cool.

The move, which will be formally announced at the third annual Our Ocean Conference in Washington D.C. later this week, was hailed by conversationalists worldwide.

So what does the marine monument protect? We’re glad you asked.

The new protected area — a nearly 5,000-square mile piece of the Atlantic off of New England — is designed to slowly usher commercial fishing companies out of the waters, which are home to ecologically unique species, three deep sea canyons, four underwater mountains, and endangered animals.

This comes only a few weeks after President Obama created the largest protected marine area in the world around the smaller Hawaiian islands.

The announcement is great news for anyone who’d like to keep enjoying our beautiful oceans, as marine protection is the first step toward a healthier Earth for all species (including us humans).

Photo by @BrianSkerry. Green Sea Turtles mating off of Buck Island in St. Croix. These waters were protected by President Kennedy in 1961 as a US National Marine Monument and because of this effort, animals like sea turtles – along with many other creatures – have rebounded in these important ecosystems. Today it was announced that President Obama has created the latest US Marine Monument, protecting New England Deep Sea Canyons and Seamounts. This follows the President’s recent action to expand the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawaii, now the world’s largest marine protected area. Conservation efforts like this are crucial in saving Earth’s oceans. @thephotosociety #ResilientSea #OurOcean #BlueParks #President #Obama #StCroix #Marine #Reserve #New #England #Seamounts #Deep #Sea #Canyons #Green #Turtles #Conservation #Protection #photooftheday

A photo posted by National Geographic (@natgeo) on

Still have questions about marine protected areas? Check out this video that shows just how important it is for humankind.

Tell us about a time you enjoyed the ocean during your travels!

About the author

Mary Zakheim

When she is not figuring out what the middle button on her headphones is for, explaining the difference between Washington State and Washington D.C., arriving to the airport too early or refusing to use the Oxford comma, you can usually find Mary in the mountains, at a show or on her couch.

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